Frequently Asked Questions: Treatments
- I need a doctor or mental health care facility that specializes in a specific disorder. Can NAMI help me?
- I cannot afford my medication fees or medical insurance. Where can I go for financial assistance?
- What are the side effects and recommended dosage of a specific medication? Is the combination of medications my doctor prescribed right? Is my dosage too high?
- Does NAMI have information on substance abuse or dual diagnosis treatment?
- Can people recover from mental illness? Is there a cure?
1. I need a doctor or mental health care facility that specializes in a specific disorder. Can NAMI help me?
While NAMI does not provide a list of mental health care professionals or treatment facilities, we do offer a fact sheet called Mental Health Professionals: Who they are and How to find one.
You might also contact your NAMI Affiliate for information. Sometimes, the best word-of-mouth recommendations come from others in our groups that have found a good local doctor.
Often times, one may find specialists in a certain field by contacting the psychiatry department at local teaching hospitals, where they are often on the cutting edge of research. Your American Psychiatric Association (APA) local branch may have a list of doctors listed by specialties as well.
2. I cannot afford my medication fees or medical insurance. Where can I go for financial assistance?
Some pharmaceutical companies offer prescription assistance programs for low-income or uninsured individuals and families. Click here to view the list of pharmaceutical companies and their contact information.
There are also non-profit organizations, such as Partnership for Prescription Assistance, TogetherRX.com or www.NeedyMeds.com, which help people needing financial assistance with medication. These programs typically require a doctor's consent and proof of financial status. They may also require that you have no health insurance or no prescription drug benefit.
Your community mental health care center may offer medication and mental health care services on a sliding scale basis. Your NAMI Affiliate may be able to help you locate this center.
The following resources can also help you locate insurance options in your state:
Or, you may speak to an operator at the U.S. Uninsured Help Line at 1 (800) 234-1317 for additional information.
3. What are the side effects and recommended dosage of a specific medication? Is the combination of medications my doctor prescribed right? Is my dosage too high?
Click here to view NAMI fact sheets about medication and treatment.
Please contact your pharmacist, doctor or mental health care professional for guidance on the correct treatment of your specific situation. NAMI's work focuses on support, education, advocacy and research. We are not a medical facility nor are we qualified to give medical advice about treatment or medication.
It is estimated that roughly 50 percent of individuals with mental illness are affected by substance abuse. Dual diagnosis services are treatments for people who suffer from co-occurring disorders – mental illness and substance abuse.
For more information, NAMI’s web section on Dual Diagnosis and the Fact Sheets Dual Diagnosis: Substance Abuse and Mental Illness and Dual Diagnosis: Adolescents with Co-occurring Brain Disorders & Substance Abuse Disorders.
Or, you may contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration online, or by calling SAMHSA’s Health Information Network (SHIN) at 1 (877) SAMHSA-7 (1 (877)-726-4727).
NAMI believes that recovery is a process, beginning with diagnosis and eventually moving into successful management of your illness. Successful recovery involves learning about your illness and treatments available, empowering yourself through the support of peers and family members and, finally, taking action to manage your own illness by helping others.
While there is currently no known cure for mental illness, such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, the good news is that recovery is possible. Most people diagnosed with a mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan. NAMI advocates for research into the causes, treatments, and eventually, a cure for mental illness. We are steadfast in our commitment to advocacy in support of research.
Individuals’ treatment plans may include medication, psychotherapy and peer support groups, in addition to balanced diet, exercise and sleep. Meaningful social opportunities, such as local drop in centers or clubhouses, and volunteer activities also often contribute to overall wellness and mental health recovery.
For more information about recovery, please click here.