Let’s begin by acknowledging how important mental health is for living a productive and healthy life. Yet people tend to ignore such problems because of stigma and lack of awareness. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five Americans suffers from at least one mental health problem. People with poor work-life balance and those who have experienced childhood trauma are more likely to have it worse.

However, people are now talking more openly about mental health concerns because of social media, exposure, and access to information. The pandemic has also increased awareness about how important self-care is to live a happy and healthy life.

The first step in getting help for mental health problems is realizing you need it. So, if you’ve come to that particular point already, it’s essential to find a specialist who you can trust with your deepest, darkest issues. Don’t know where to start? We’ve listed a few tips that might come in handy. Below are some tips that can come in handy/

Run a quick local search on the internet

Google has the answer to most, if not all of our queries. With just a few clicks, you can find anything online. You just have to know where and how to look. For example, if you live in a hustling bustling city like San Francisco, a simple search string like ‘therapist San Francisco CA‘ will provide enough results to begin your hunt. According to the UCSF Magazine, roughly 30 to 40 percent of this city’s population suffer from mental illness. So you’re bound to find plenty of reliable help. Repeat the same process for any other city/state you live in, and voila!


Look up commonly searched platforms

Many organizations are committed to helping as many people as possible by sharing information regarding qualified mental health professionals. So, what greater way can there be than an organized online approach to checking and verifying potential candidates’ credentials? Be sure to look up mental health professionals on the following websites to gauge their authenticity and reliability:

  • American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
  • American Psychological Association
  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America
  • Association of LGBTQ+ Psychiatrists
  • National Center for PTSD
  • National Eating Disorders Association

Ask around in your circle

Your circle includes your close friends, family, acquaintances, or colleagues. If you know anyone who’s seeing a therapist or counselor to deal with their problems, you may want to ask them for a referral. This will help you narrow down your options considerably. Close friends and family are likely to give you only helpful advice, so take their recommendations seriously and meet the professional. You can ask them about how helpful the entire process has been for them, and also about the professional’s work ethic and how reliable they are.

Look for compatibility

Do you have any preferences regarding religious beliefs, age, or gender? You must consider them while looking for a therapist since demographics can affect how comfortable you feel while opening up to a mental health professional. If anything holds you back from saying something you truly feel, the treatment will not be a fulfilling experience. You don’t want to feel as if the person is judging you because of what you believe in or your sexual orientation. So, shortlist a professional who has not only the right credentials, but also the right personality traits that match what you’re looking for.

Try therapy apps

If you don’t feel comfortable with in-person sessions, your mental health guide can also be an app. Technology has reshaped the way people receive help for physical and mental health problems, especially during the last few months. Consider this the next step in digital evolution because there are a few tried and tested therapy apps with many positive testimonials from around the globe. Such apps are designed to help you via preplanned mental exercises while also providing remote access to virtual therapy by real-life certified professionals. These apps are easy to use, always at arm’s reach, cost-effective, and accessible anywhere. You won’t have to pay for the commute to get help when you need it the most.

Ask the right questions

To further narrow down your search, ask potential candidates you’ve shortlisted a few questions about them, their personality, and work ethic. This information will help you make a more informed choice and establish a bond with your therapist. Some questions you can ask include:

  • Do you have a license to practice?
  • Do you have any experience with the particular issue I am facing and trying to resolve?
  • How many years have you been practicing?
  • What will be the treatment method or approach?
  • Do you accept healthcare insurance?
  • How often will you be available?

Look for someone who can help with specific problems

Since not all mental health specialists offer the same services, it would be best to look for someone to help you with your specific issues. For example, if you need relationship advice, you might want to visit a relationship or marriage counselor. Similarly, some mental health problems may require you to speak with a psychiatrist instead of a therapist. It is good to know the difference between the services provided by a psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor, and therapist to evaluate which one to look for. It will also help you decide whether you need a medicated approach, verbal counseling, or both.


Whether you are suffering from childhood trauma, grief, a failing relationship, workplace stress, or financial stress, always remember help is just a few steps away. Have the courage to reach out before your deteriorating mental health takes a toll on the rest of your body. This article mentions helpful tips to shortlist a Virtual Therapy Toronto specialist near you and get timely help. Before finalizing one, explore your options to identify someone you are comfortable opening up to. After, the journey to better mental health depends on this crucial decision.