Here, at Mental Health Association in Delaware, we work with both individuals and families in DE to educate, raise awareness and provide support around mental health. Over the years we have received commonly asked questions from the public, including questions about our agency, treatment options and how to get involved with MHA in DE. For your convenience, we have compiled all questions in a blog post, as well as a page on our website: FAQ – Mental Health Association in Delaware (mhainde.org)

We hope that this answers any questions, but feel free to contact us at 302-654-6833 for any additional comments or concerns.

FAQ:

What does your agency do? 

MHA supports the mental health of Delawareans through education, support, and advocacy.  Some examples of our education include ASIST suicide prevention training, Peer 101, and our biannual Empowering Community Wellness Symposium.  Support includes services such as free wellness groups throughout the state, and providing peer mentoring to those involved in the criminal justice system through mental health court.  Our advocacy includes involvement in a variety of committees and consortiums working on strengthening the mental health system in Delaware, and preventing suicide.

Can I come in for an evaluation/treatment?

While MHA does not provide evaluation or treatment, we will be happy to help you find the services you need.  The first thing we will probably ask is about your insurance, since we want to make sure you are not turned away from a treatment facility, or billed for a service that should be covered.  If you are insured, you can call the number on your insurance card to find treatment options near you.  If you don’t have insurance, you may be eligible for services through the state Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Eligibility and Enrollment Unit.

I have a mental illness. Who can I go to for treatment?

If you think you have a mental illness, therapy can be very helpful, as can medication.  The first step is to have an evaluation if you haven’t already had one.  We recommend going through your insurance, and if you don’t have insurance, you can contact the EEU.  We can also provide a list of resources in Delaware, or help you navigate a website like the Delaware Psychological Association that matches you with therapists based on your criteria.

I am worried about a loved one. How do I talk to them about their mental health?

Be honest, direct, empathetic and open.  Choose a convenient, private time and place.  Have plenty of time to actively listen, and some ideas for connecting your loved one to resources that can help.

I’m thinking about suicide. Can you help?

The best place to call if you are thinking about suicide is the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 1-800-273-8255. They are available 24/7.  You can also text “helpde” to 741741 to be connected with the Lifeline at any time.

We are happy to talk with you, provide a supportive listening ear, and help keep you safe, but we are not a crisis center and do not always have staff available to answer the phone.  Here are some additional resources with which you can connect: KeepSafe Connections

My child or other loved one is having a crisis. What should I do?

If your loved one is a child under the age of 18, you can call Child Priority Response at 800-969-HELP (4357).  

If your loved one is an adult, you can call Crisis Intervention Services

These are both services that will help you decide on a course of action, which often includes having someone from these services come to your location and do an evaluation with your loved one, and think about a plan of safety.  Another great resource for anyone in crisis is the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which can be reached at: 800-273-TALK (8255). You can also text “helpde” to 741741 to be connected to a trained counselor.  All of these resources are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

My loved one is struggling to maintain housing because of their mental illness. Where do I turn?

For those with serious, persistent mental illness, there are resources to help maintain housing in Delaware.  A few are listed here:

  1. Eligibility & Enrollment Unit: 302-255-9458
  2. NAMI: 302-427-0787
  3. Conexio Care: 833-886-2277
  4. Youth up to age 12 in need of residential treatment- Terry center: 302-633-2571

My family is struggling because of a loved one’s illness.  Where can I get some support?

NAMI Delaware has groups in Delaware for family members who may be struggling because of a loved ones’ mental illness.  There are also groups through Al-anon for those whose family members experience addiction.

I don’t like the treatment I or a loved one received from a provider.  How can I help make a positive change?

It’s very important to voice your opinion about your treatment – this is how we make our healthcare system better.  Thank you for speaking up.  Sometimes the best way to make positive change is to make sure that people in leadership roles are able to hear about any problems that may have happened.  Call us, and we will do our best to make sure you are heard by leadership at the agency where you or a loved one received care.  There is also a Consumer Resolution line for state providers that can be reached at 855.649.7944.

I have been through my own struggles with mental illness, and I want to help others. How do I get involved?

It is a wonderful thing to be able to use a difficult experience to help others, and we are thankful to our many supporters who have done exactly that.  If you are interested in volunteering, please send us an email at info@mhainde.org, with your areas of interest such as staffing tables at health fairs, helping with administrative duties such as data entry or mailings, writing blog posts, or others. We will add you to our volunteer distribution list, and send relevant opportunities as they arise. Another way to give back is to join a wellness group, where sharing your experiences may be a lifeline to another person going through similar struggles.  If you are interested in making this type of peer support a career, we offer classes on gaining professional peer certification, with more information here.

Staff Blogger: Emily Coggin Vera, Executive Director

Emily Coggin Vera is the Executive Director at the Mental Health Association in Delaware, where she has worked since 2009.  She was formerly the Deputy Director and the Project Director of Suicide Prevention, during which time she facilitated the Delaware Suicide Prevention Coalition, coordinating suicide prevention efforts by multiple agencies throughout the state.  She collaborates with other agencies to provide advocacy and enhanced understanding of mental health in the community, and is responsible for maintaining financial accountability, sustainability and operational effectiveness at MHA.   Emily received her Master’s in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2007, and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.