Man talking to a therapist

Here are some ways to get in touch with someone who can work with you to overcome depression

Consulting your family physician is a good starting point. In addition to evaluating medical factors and considering whether medication might be useful, your family physician can often put you in touch with other health professionals like psychiatrists and psychotherapists.

Watch David’s Tips from a Professional Video: Navigating the System.

For students, student health services or counselling service centres are great places to start and may be able to provide or connect you with further resources.

Your employer might have an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP), giving you access to a certain number of sessions with a therapist or counsellor. The counselling should be completely separate from your employment, ensuring that whatever you discuss remains private and confidential. Ask your human resources department for information about whether your employer has an EAP.

Community mental health centres can be a good resource for getting in touch with a professional. Services are typically covered by public and private health plans. Usually there is an intake process where a mental health professional will review your referral and discuss your options. This may include individual or group therapy, or recommendations for other depression services that could help.

Men at group therapy

Psychiatrists and psychotherapists

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in mental health issues – depression is one of the most common problems they work with. A psychiatrist can be especially helpful in diagnosing and treating depression that co-exists with other medical or mental health difficulties.

Psychiatrists work in hospitals, mental health centres, and in private offices. A referral from your family physician is required to see a psychiatrist in private practice; this is typically covered by public health plans.

Psychotherapists treat depression with talk therapy. They come from different professional backgrounds, and have had special training and experience in treating health issues like depression.

Some of the professionals who may offer psychotherapy include clinical psychologists, social workers, clinical counsellors, occupational therapists, and psychiatric nurses. These professionals should be registered with a regulating organization, and should welcome your questions about their qualifications and experience.

Many therapists work in mental health centres and community agencies that provide free or low-cost services. Others work in private practice, which is not typically covered by public health plans. Be sure to ask about the therapist’s fees. Some student, employer, or private health plans may cover a limited number private therapy sessions.

For help finding a qualified therapist in your area, see the HeadsUpGuys Therapist Directory.