What Are the Different Types of Mental Health Services?

Mental health services include social programs that are geared toward protecting children.
Some therapists specialize in cognitive behavioral therapy, which may be an effective treatment for some anxiety and panic disorders.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 24 August 2014
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There are many different types of mental health services which might vary by community. Of the many different types of mental health services available, perhaps the most likely to be encountered are therapy and other forms of counseling, psychiatry, hospital programs, and social work programs designed to intervene, particularly when children are abused. There may also be organizations that have different advocacy programs or other services to offer the mentally ill and their families.

Therapy comes in many configurations. It can mean an individual taking a personal journey to better the self. It might mean couples or family therapy where people learn to improve the mental health of a group/family. Another type of therapy is group therapy, where an individual meets with a group of people he/she typically doesn’t know to explore a common interest. There are different types of mental health services within the group therapy setting, including groups that target grief, addiction, codependency, parenting, personal development, and specific mental illnesses.

Some of the people who seek individual counseling do so because they have mental illnesses like major depression, while others have no diagnosable illness and just might like some help working out problems. For someone dealing with mental illness, it’s also quite possible they will need assistance from a psychiatrist. Therapists, unless they are psychiatrists, cannot prescribe the medication needed to treat many mental illnesses.


It can be a little confusing because psychiatrists are typically therapists as well. The reverse is not true. Some people take advantage of two different types of mental health services by working with a psychiatrist and a therapist and others merely employ a psychiatrist for both therapy and medicine management.

Even with skillful management, people sometimes need greater care than can be provided at home. One of the different types of mental health services most required in communities is a hospital that can take care of people who have extensive psychiatric needs. Such hospitals may be differently configured. Some offer daytime only hospitalization, but most have what are called lockdown wards to take care of those with very unpredictable behavior. These hospitals work to rehabilitate patients so they can rejoin the world.

Other mental health services include those designed to protect children. Childhood abuse may create mental health issues, and child protective agencies, often run by social workers, may work to prevent this by their intervention. Very often, they end up working with entire families to restore the family instead of splitting it up. To do this they may use the services of therapists, psychiatrists or others.

Some communities have independent agencies dedicated to providing education and advocacy. They may work with those diagnosed with mental illness in a variety of ways and could help with things like job discrimination or daily coping strategies. Another of the different types of mental health services is counseling through work, available to employees. Some companies offer free and confidential limited counseling which might be utilized in stressful times.


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