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How Do I Find a Mental Health Provider?

Many people benefit from professional counseling services from time to time. But how do you find a good fit in a mental health provider?  Do not worry.  You are not alone.  For those seeking such assistance we want to provide some resources and information to help guide you through the process and some questions to answer when considering a counselor.

An available resource for SOM employees is the Employee Service Program (ESP). In addition to offering individual consultation, assessment and follow up services, the members of the ESP team are available to assist you with finding treatment or other mental health resources within your area. They will help you through the referral process by locating in-network providers who are a good match for your needs and preferences and have appointments available.

ESP is a confidential program available to all State of Michigan employees and their eligible family members for assistance with personal and work-related concerns. ESP services are available 8am – 5pm, Monday through Friday (excluding State holidays). To reach Employee Services Program:

Employee Service Program (ESP)


Confidential  •  No Cost  •  Voluntary

If you are independently seeking out a mental health provider, it is important to consider in-network insurance referrals.  Contact information for the various SOM insurance health care providers can be found here.

Finding a good fit with a mental health professional is important.   We encourage that you take the time to find a professional whom you can trust and assist you or your loved one. Good mental health professionals are open to your questions.  They want you to find the best professional support as well.

 Consider these questions prior to searching for a mental health professional:

  • Am I more comfortable with a male or female therapist?
  • What are their specialties?
  • Do I want to talk to a faith-based professional?
  • What distance from my home/ work to the provider is feasible?
  • How do I think counseling may help?
  • What are my goals for counseling?
  • What might family and/or friends who have seen a counselor say? Could they have a referral?
  • Do they take my insurance? What are my “out of pocket” costs?
  • Do I need a referral from my primary care doctor?

Suggested questions to ask the mental health provider:

  • Are you licensed and how long have you been practicing?

Note that some research shows the longer the counselor has been practicing, the better the outcome for you.

  • How have you worked with issues I am experiencing?
  • What experience have you had in working with corrections/law enforcement officers or staff?
  • How comfortable am I when talking with this counselor and their staff?
  • In what ways does this counselor and their staff respect my individuality, opinions, etc?
  • Do I feel comfortable in the counselor’s office?
  • How do I feel when meeting the counselor?
  • Can I learn to trust this counselor?
  • Am I able to trust my intuition when choosing my counselor?