5 Essential Mental Health Services for Beginners


Do you often feel overwhelmed by intense emotions, seeming to lose control over your reactions? This personal turbulence might indicate a need for professional care. Understanding the importance of mental health is a key factor in achieving overall wellness. At DBT of South Jersey, we believe that acknowledging the concerns related to mental health is the first step towards creating an effective treatment plan that caters to each individual’s unique needs.

Mental health is as significant as your physical well-being—if not more. Just as a physical ailment affects your ability to perform daily activities, struggles with mental health can critically influence your thoughts, emotions, and the overall quality of life. As Shannon Taylor, one of our dedicated interns, rightly said, a new perspective can be the beginning of making positive changes and better decisions. We are passionate about providing that perspective to help our clients live a satisfying and balanced life.

Investing in mental health services is a profound step towards caring for your overall well-being. Here’s a quick snapshot of information to understand why:

  • Feeling Overwhelmed: Regular feelings of being overwhelmed may indicate a need for mental health support.
  • Physical Symptoms: Persistent headaches, chronic pain or fatigue can be linked to mental health issues.
  • Social Withdrawal: When individuals isolate themselves from others, this might signal a mental health problem.
  • Thought Process: Problems with concentration, memory, and illogical thoughts can indicate mental health disorders.
  • Emotional Distress: Persistent feelings of sadness, anger, or fear can be symptoms of mental health issues.

Infographic depicting links between physical symptoms and mental health issues - mental health services infographic pillar-5-steps

We will further delve into different types of mental health disorders, the essential services available, and how to seek help. Through this journey, we aim to empower you with knowledge and accessible resources to help navigate the path towards wellness and resilience.

Understanding Different Types of Mental Health Disorders

Understanding mental health disorders is an important step towards seeking appropriate help. Mental health disorders can present in various forms and knowing the different types can aid in identifying the right kind of mental health services for you or your loved ones.

Mood Disorders

Mood disorders, also known as affective disorders, involve persistent feelings of sadness or periods of feeling overly happy, or fluctuations from extreme happiness to extreme sadness. The most common mood disorders are depression, bipolar disorder, and cyclothymic disorder. At DBT of South Jersey, we have a team of experts including Shaelene Lauriano Kite who are experienced in dealing with various mood disorders.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are characterized by excessive and persistent worry about everyday situations. This can include generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, and specific phobias. People with anxiety disorders often struggle with intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. We provide comprehensive services to help manage and cope with anxiety disorders.

Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are characterized by long-term patterns of behavior and inner experiences that differ significantly from societal expectations. These may include borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and histrionic personality disorder. Our team at DBT of South Jersey is experienced in providing individual DBT therapy to help manage these disorders.

Psychotic Disorders

Psychotic disorders involve distorted awareness and thinking, which may cause loss of contact with reality. The most common symptoms are hallucinations and delusions. Schizophrenia is an example of a psychotic disorder. At DBT of South Jersey, we provide comprehensive mental health services, including counseling and therapy, to support individuals dealing with psychotic disorders.

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In conclusion, understanding these disorders can help individuals seek appropriate help and resources. Mental health disorders are not a sign of weakness or something to be ashamed of. They are medical conditions that require care and treatment just like any physical illness. At DBT of South Jersey, we are committed to providing comprehensive mental health services to support you on your journey towards wellness.

Essential Mental Health Services

Just as physical health requires a variety of care options, effective mental health treatment involves an array of services to address the diverse needs of individuals. Here, we outline five essential mental health services that play a vital role in supporting individuals on their path to wellness.

Comprehensive Evaluation and Medication Management

The first step to effective mental health care is a comprehensive evaluation. This involves a thorough assessment of the individual’s mental, emotional, and social state, which forms the basis for a personalized treatment plan. Our team of board-certified psychiatrists and nurse practitioners at DBT of South Jersey are experienced in diagnosing a wide range of mental health disorders.

Once a diagnosis is made, medication may be part of the treatment plan. Medication management ensures that any prescribed drugs are used safely and effectively, with regular monitoring to adjust dosages as necessary and manage any side effects.

Counseling and Therapy Services

Counseling and therapy form the cornerstone of many mental health services. They provide a safe space for individuals to explore their feelings, behaviors, and thoughts with a trained professional. At DBT of South Jersey, our therapists provide various types of counseling, including Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which specializes in emotional regulation and reducing self-destructive behaviors.

Crisis Stabilization Units

For individuals experiencing a mental health crisis, immediate intervention is crucial. Crisis Stabilization Units (CSUs) provide short-term, intensive treatment for individuals in severe distress. These units are equipped to handle emergencies and offer immediate intervention, including acute psychiatric services for patients who are admitted voluntarily or involuntarily.

Support Groups and Community Resources

Support groups offer a sense of community and understanding that can be incredibly healing. They provide a platform for individuals to share their experiences and learn from others facing similar challenges. Additionally, numerous community resources, such as 211, provide invaluable assistance, from food and housing to legal aid and healthcare.

Employment and Vocational Support

Maintaining or finding employment can be challenging for individuals dealing with mental health issues. Employment and vocational support services provide resources and guidance to help individuals achieve their career goals while managing their mental health. Whether it’s resume building, job interview training, or workplace accommodations, these services play an essential role in supporting individuals in leading fulfilling, productive lives.

At DBT of South Jersey, we believe in holistic care, recognizing that mental health is influenced by a variety of factors. By providing a comprehensive range of mental health services, we aim to address these diverse needs and support our clients on their journey towards wellness.

How to Seek Help for Mental Health Issues

Recognizing the issue and seeking help for mental health struggles is a courageous step towards self-care. Here’s how you can start this journey.

Recognizing the Signs of Mental Health Struggles

It’s crucial to be aware of the signs of mental health issues. These could range from persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, or irritability, to changes in sleep or eating patterns, difficulty concentrating, or social withdrawal. It’s essential not to ignore these signs. If you notice such changes in yourself or someone you care about, it might be time to seek professional help.

Approaching a Loved One About Seeking Help

If you’re concerned about a loved one, have an open and non-judgmental conversation with them. It’s important to express your concern without making them feel judged or criticized. Point out specific behaviors that have concerned you and encourage them to seek help. As one resource suggests, “Sometimes someone just noticing is enough to have a person feel cared about enough to want to open up more and potentially have a discussion about seeking help”. Offering your support can make a significant difference.

Utilizing National and Local Resources

There are numerous resources available for those struggling with mental health issues. Start by reaching out to a trusted healthcare professional, such as your primary care doctor, or contact a mental health professional directly. If you’re unsure where to start, national helplines like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 offer immediate assistance and can guide you towards suitable mental health services.

In addition, there are specific resources available locally. For example, at DBT of South Jersey, we offer a range of mental health services, from individual therapy to group sessions, designed to help our clients navigate their mental health struggles. We also offer a list of helpful resources, including support hotlines and crisis services, to assist those in need.

Seeking help for mental health issues is not a sign of weakness, but rather, a step towards empowerment. You’re not alone in this journey, and there are many resources and services available to help you navigate these challenges. At DBT of South Jersey, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

The Role of DBT in Mental Health Services

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or DBT, is a type of cognitive-behavioral treatment developed by psychologist Marsha Linehan. It was initially designed to help individuals with a history of failed therapies, hospitalizations, and other treatments. DBT has since evolved to address a range of mental health conditions, including complex posttraumatic stress disorders and mood regulation difficulties.

The core of DBT is the balance between acceptance and change. It focuses on teaching skills to manage painful emotions and decrease relationship conflicts. DBT involves both individual therapy and group skills training, where participants learn various coping strategies and mindfulness practices.

How DBT Helps in Balancing Acceptance and Meaningful Change

DBT works by addressing your symptoms and helping you develop new skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflicts in relationships. It is based on the principle of dialectics, which suggests that everything is interconnected and that change is constant and inevitable.

In DBT, acceptance and change are seen as a dialectical balance. That means we at DBT of South Jersey understand that you’re doing the best you can in this moment with the tools you have. Simultaneously, we help you realize that you need to change some of your ways to feel better.

DBT helps create a balance between accepting oneself as they are and recognizing the need for change to improve mental health.

The Unique Approach of DBT of South Jersey

At DBT of South Jersey, we strive to provide quality care that works. We believe in ongoing growth, learning, and training to keep our skills sharp and support treatment interventions that move clients to their goals.

We understand that each individual’s journey to mental health recovery is unique, and we tailor our DBT approach to meet these individual needs. Our specialized mental health services address your unique needs, whether you’re dealing with mood regulation issues, self-image problems, or unstable relationship patterns.

Moreover, we ensure a safe and supportive environment for healing and recovery. We value honesty, authenticity, and human-to-human connection in our therapy sessions. While we are confident in our clinical skills, we also recognize that no one is perfect, and we are here to guide you on your journey to better mental health.

In the end, the core values of DBT—acceptance, change, and compassion—are what guide our approach at DBT of South Jersey. We’re here to help you navigate through your mental health challenges and find and create meaning in your life.


The Importance of Seeking Help

As we’ve discussed throughout this article, mental health plays a pivotal role in our overall wellbeing. However, it’s important to remember that it’s okay to ask for help when struggling with mental health. Whether you’re dealing with a specific mental health disorder or just feeling overwhelmed by life’s challenges, reaching out for support is a crucial first step.

In fact, research has shown that seeking professional help, such as seeing an experienced psychiatrist or therapist, can lead to improved mental health outcomes. Even if the thought of therapy seems scary, remember what we said earlier: “your mental well-being matters, and seeking support is a courageous step towards self-care” (source: DBT of South Jersey ). The choice to seek help is a powerful act of self-care.

Encouraging Open Conversations About Mental Health

Opening up about mental health is essential in breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health disorders. While it might be difficult to start these conversations, it’s vital to remember that it’s okay to not be okay, and it’s even more okay to talk about it. Promote openness by discussing your own experiences with mental health or by expressing your support for others who are struggling. Every conversation about mental health contributes to a broader cultural shift towards acceptance and understanding.

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The Role of Community in Mental Health Recovery

Lastly, it’s important to highlight the role of community in mental health recovery. Support groups, like those listed in the NAMI Sarasota & Manatee Counties resource, offer a safe space to connect with others who are experiencing similar struggles.

At DBT of South Jersey, we believe in the power of community. We understand that everyone’s journey is unique, but no one should have to walk this path alone. We strive to provide a supportive, inclusive environment where everyone feels seen, heard, and valued.

In conclusion, we at DBT of South Jersey are here to provide essential mental health services, from comprehensive evaluations to therapy. We celebrate your bravery in taking this step towards better mental health, and we’re here to support you every step of the way. To learn more about our services and how we can help, visit our website today.


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