Frequently AskedQuestions

 
This is a segment on the website with content created by Help Team Members. Basic write ups in jargon-free, accessible language by the peer supporters who can take up roles of writers and/or editors for this section. The objective is to provide a means of psycho-education using the platform of our website itself. This section contains information for young people, care-givers, parents, and the general public. It is written by counsellors, psychologists and peer helpers working in the area of mental health. At YWP; we strongly believe that each individual who seeks help or support needs to have appropriate, relevant, updated and correct information. So that they can make their decision of how to proceed.
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FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers
Mental health is a state of well-being in which every individual realizes how they can cope with the normal stresses of life and can work productively. Mental health is essential for an individual to be able to live a meaningful,healthy and balanced life. Concept Note of 1. Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the day to day stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, both as an individual and as a member of his/her community or group.(WHO,2004) Visual idea : 3 major components of mental health according to WHO ; well being, effective functioning of individuals, effective functioning for a community. Some ways to look after your mental health: Balanced diet and sufficient sleep. Exercise regularly. Staying connected with others. Developing coping skills for self. Seeking professional help.
Psychiatric medication works by altering, blocking or enhancing levels of the brain’s naturally-occurring chemical messengers, known as neurotransmitters. Medication helps in managing the symptoms of the mental health disorder and is often combined with psychotherapy as the part of overall treatment. They are prescribed by a registered psychiatrist after consultation. Concept Note of 3. Psychiatric medication works by altering, blocking or enhancing levels of the brain’s naturally-occurring chemical messengers, known as neurotransmitters. There are five major classes of psychiatric medications: anti-anxiety agents antidepressants antipsychotics mood stabilizers stimulants Taking medication at the required specific time and for a given duration is critical to the recovery process. Different medications have different side effects. Hence, it is of utmost importance to communicate all your concerns to your healthcare provider.
Therapy addresses a range of mental health challenges from depression, anxiety, substance abuse to challenges of daily living like when you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, fatigued , angry or burned out by work / personal life. Therapy provides you with a supportive environment in which you learn to cope up with these emotions and the challenges which might arise in future. Moreover,it helps you in gaining a deeper understanding of yourself, helps in developing healthier behavioral patterns and consequently helps in living a more fulfilling life. Concept Note of 4: Many people may need and can benefit from therapy at least during some point in their lives, but it’s important to look for signs suggesting that you might need therapy. Contrary to the misconception, there shouldn’t be anything ‘wrong’ with your mental health to start therapy and therefore it can be used for purposes like exam stress or challenges faced in a relationship. The American Psychological Association (APA) suggests considering therapy ,when something/someone causes distress and interferes with some part of life, particularly when: Thinking about or coping with the issue takes up at least an hour each day. The issue makes you want to avoid others or embarrasses you. The issue has negatively(grades have been affected) impacted school/college work. The issue has caused your quality of life to decrease. https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/why-should-i-go-to-therapy-8-signs-its-time-to-see-a-therapist-0118197
A Counselor is a mental health professional who has a master’s degree (MA) in counselling.They work with clients to help them learn better ways to manage their problems.A Clinical Psychologist is a mental health professional who has an MPhil from an RCI recognized institute in India. They are trained in assessing, evaluating and treating psychological disorders. A Psychiatrist is a licenced medical doctor and the only mental health professionals who are licensed to prescribe medicines. Concept Note of 5 : Mental health professionals – counsellors, clinical psychologists and psychiatrists – work very closely to prevent, diagnose, and treat mental illnesses. Their main aim is to improve psychological well-being among people. These professionals work very closely with individuals experiencing psychological distress and may even work together to attain the goal of improving one’s psychological well-being. 1. Counsellor: A mental health professional who has a master’s degree (MA) in counseling. They work with clients to help them learn better ways to manage their problems.Counsellors offer assistance to people suffering from problems that cause emotional distress, such as anxiety, relationship issues, eating disorders,or any other life changing events. 2. Clinical Psychologist: A clinical psychologist has a doctoral degree (PhD or PsyD) in psychology or an MPhil in India. They are trained in evaluating and treating psychological disorders. Licensed clinical psychologists are qualified to do counseling and psychotherapy, psychological assessments, and provide treatment for mental health disorders. Psychologists cannot write prescriptions or perform medical procedures. 3. Psychiatrist: Psychiatrists are licenced medical doctors who complete specialized training in psychiatry. They are trained to differentiate mental health problems from other underlying medical conditions that could be present with psychiatric symptoms. Unlike clinical psychologists or counsellors, psychiatrists are the only mental health professionals who are licensed to write prescriptions. They treat disorders like depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar or schizophrenia with psychiatric medications and most part of the treatment may be focused on medication management.
To find a suitable mental health provider, the initial step could be to simply narrow down your search by identifying the issues you need help with. You might not know what exactly you are looking for so try looking for different areas of specializations in addition to professional’s qualification. YWP; has its own extensively researched database of professionals whose contacts we provide, keeping in mind the need of help seekers. Concept Note of 6: To find a suitable mental health provider, you can look out for certain aspects that would make your experience with them easier, comfortable and eventually help you deal with your problems more effectively. The initial step could be to simply narrow down your research. Think about the issues that you need help with and subsequently search for specialists that work with individuals who require help with similar problems. If you have done your research and feel that a certain approach would work for you, go ahead with professionals who specialize in that particular approach. Finding out their educational qualification and professional experience will further help you understand if they are reliable and trustworthy. Moreover, every country provides a license to mental health professionals who fulfil a certain criteria . This is to ensure that the mental health professionals have relevant skills and knowledge to cater to the needs of those seeking help.
Some of the questions that you may ask a mental health professional could be regarding the process of therapy itself and how it would benefit you, ideal expectations from counseling/therapy and the specific approach that the professional uses for the sessions. It is important to understand the role of professionals in your journey and ask them about what you can expect by the end of this process. Questions asking their therapeutic approach can also help you in understanding your mental health professional.You can further ask them how their therapy approach can effectively help individuals with similar requirements as yours. Another question that you could ask is how long would it take until you can see adaptive changes in yourself. Do they use a particular approach in counseling/therapy? If yes, what approach is it and how effective is that for individuals with similar requirements as yourself. Concept Note of 7: As individuals seeking help from mental health professionals it is essential that we understand the process of therapy and/or medication. Everyone has different experiences, that is the process is never the same for any two individuals . Questions which can be asked are : Do you use a particular approach in counseling/therapy? If yes, what approach is it and how effective is that for individuals with similar requirements as me? Could you briefly share how you would take this forward in terms of subsequent sessions? How soon can I expect to see signs of feeling better? How effective are different therapy techniques for individuals with similar requirements as me? Will I be on medication? If yes, for how long and what changes or side-effects can I expect? What would be the role of my friends and family and what can they do to help? What are the chances of relapse? In case of emergencies, how would I contact you?

With counselling/therapy, there usually is no set/fixed  timeline of treatment. Therapy may vary from just a couple of sessions to a few months or even years, depending on the needs of different individuals. It is best to discuss this with the professional you seek help from, as they would be well-informed about your mental health problem/s and its nature.

Concept Note of 8:  Therapy may vary from just a couple of sessions to a few months or even years, depending on the needs of different individuals. Treatment methods, goal of the person seeking therapy, the symptoms they have, and the history of those symptoms determine the length of counselling/therapy.The length of treatment may also vary depending on the type of therapy one engages in.Some people come to therapy with a specific issue or concern, while some people come to therapy to explore issues that seem to run a little deeper. For example, cognitive behavioural therapy or relationship counseling tend to be short to medium term therapies, while psychoanalytically-oriented therapies may involve more medium to long term work.

Dealing with a lot of emotions can be difficult. One of the ways you can deal with difficult emotions is to try and identify the emotions one at a time so as to have a clearer understanding of these emotions. This reflective activity helps in breaking the chain of negative thinking. Another fruitful way is to engage yourself in meaningful and constructive work or hobby. Concept Note of 10: Feeling overwhelmed can have many faces. It might manifest in the form of intense emotions, such as anxiety, anger or irritability; thought processes, such as worry, doubt or helplessness; and behavior, such as crying, lashing out, or experiencing a panic attack. Strategies which might help you deal with these emotions: Break the chain – Having a chain of negative thoughts about uncontrollability or unpredictability is the core of feeling such a plethora of emotions. Actively engaging in changing these thoughts into more positive ones and questioning yourself about irrational thoughts can help. Engage yourself – Keeping your mind distracted in things that you like to do can help keep the negative emotions at bay. Delve into activities that you enjoy, such as, reading, cooking, going out for a walk, or whatever you like to do, can keep you busy and help you resolve problems. Understand the emotion – Do not avoid what you’re feeling , rather deal with the problem that might be causing it. Understanding the underlying cause of any emotion that you might be feeling, might help in resolving it. Self care – Don’t forget to give yourself some time and appreciation for dealing with all the emotions. Take a deep breath and encourage your body to relax by practicing some stress-reducing activities. Talk to someone – Talking about what you’re feeling helps in releasing some of the bottled up feelings.Talking helps in reducing the intensity of the feeling along with the inducing the positive feeling of support from others. For visual: Above pointers can be used . Refer to book for ‘break the chain’
Social support means having a network of family and friends that you can turn towards in times of need. Professionals consider social support important when you are trying to reach your goals or deal with a crisis as it ensures that you’re never alone to face various challenges. Visual idea: make a circle visual of people we maintain connection with. Concept note of 9 : Social support is your network of family and friends that you can turn towards in times of need. These people provide the strength and support that someone needs during a stressful situation and helps the person to move forward and carry on without allowing the person to give up. It is a two-way street, you rely on others to support you and in turn, you serve as someone’s support system as well. Many mental health professionals often consider social support as an important network when trying to reach your goals or deal with a crisis situation. Social support comes in different forms, depending on the person being helped and the person that is helping.Having a good social support system ensures that you’re not alone to face a crisis and you always have someone to turn to. These people keep you going on in life and provide the push that is sometimes needed in life.