Need to Talk to Someone? Where to Get Help in Michigan

Dr. William Beecroft
Dr. William Beecroft

| 3 min read

Dr. William Beecroft, MD, DLFAPA, is medical director of behavioral health at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Dr. Beecroft is board-certified in general psychiatry, consultation-liaison and geriatrics specialties. He serves on the Michigan Suicide Prevention Commission.

Those who struggle with mental health issues may feel alone, but mental illness affects 18 percent of the population at any time. If you are one of the millions of Americans who are going through a bad time, there are many options and resources available to you around Michigan, from psychologists to community organizations. Before you can get help, though, you need to identify whether or not there’s an issue. Early signs of mental illness people should be aware of:
  • A significant change in mood that lasts more than two weeks
  • Being depressed or having too much energy
  • Obsessing on a particular topic
  • Feeling apathetic or having prominent feelings of guilt
  • Change in appetite or an unexplained 10 percent loss or gain in weight in a short period of time
  • Change in sleep patterns
If you have three or more of these symptoms and they last for more than two to three weeks, it’s important to seek help. Getting the help you need The first step should be to visit your primary doctor. Your doctor will be able to recognize and screen for depression, bipolar or a manic episode. Your doctor can also refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist, depending on your treatment plan. If you are in need of immediate assistance or in a situation where you might inflict harm to yourself, call the appropriate behavioral health number on the back of your member card. It can be incredibly helpful to speak with a therapist about what you’re going through. Blue Care Network is staffed with case workers who are ready to help members. Behavioral health services do not require a referral from the member’s primary doctor, but members can initiate services by making an appointment with a Blue Care Network behavioral health provider. There are also organizations where you can turn to get free mental health help in Michigan. For example, Easter Seals Michigan is a social service organization that provides free evaluations and assessments to determine the most effective approach to improve mental health and wellness. Michigan counties also have community mental health programs and emergency psychiatric services available. These social workers are available for people with and without insurance. They are located in the county’s mental health offices and you can find the contact information on your county government’s website. Lastly, there are many church-related organizations that offer mental illness support. Their services can vary from therapy to helping you connect with a medical organization that can help. Check out your local church organization and inquire about some of their mental health services. The most important thing to realize if you’re struggling with a mental illness is that you shouldn’t suffer quietly at home. There are people who are willing and able to help; you just have to reach out. To learn more about mental illness and receiving help, check out:
About the author: Dr. William T. Beecroft is the medical director of behavior health for Blue Care Network. Photo credit: Gisela Giardino

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