Parents/Students » VCS Mental Health Resources

VCS Mental Health Resources

I have concerns about my child's mental health...
Where do I start?




CLICK on any of these titles for a list of providers in our area


Emergency Services/Assessments

Emergency services or assessment may be required if someone is actively expressing a desire to do harm to themselves (suicidal thoughts) or someone else (homicidal thoughts). After an assessment is completed, the mental health professional will consult with a doctor (typically a psychiatrist or psychologist) to make a referral or recommendations for treatment, which can include outpatient therapy or inpatient treatment/hospitalization.




Inpatient Mental Health Facilities

Hospitalization or admission into an inpatient mental health facility may be needed to allow for a period during which the individual can be closely monitored to provide accurate diagnosis, to help adjust or stabilize medications, or during an acute episode where a person’s mental illness temporarily worsens.




Private Practice Counselors/Therapists/Clinical Social Workers

Private practice is a method of performing mental health services. Private practitioners have their own offices and typically set their own schedule. When many people picture a therapist, they picture someone in a stand-alone office seeing clients throughout the week. Private practitioners often set their own schedules, and may work evenings or weekends. Some clinicians in private practice also have staff; staff typically work according to the owner’s schedule.

These professionals all have a Masters degree as well as state licensure which allow them to practice independently. Despite having different credentials, many of these mental health professionals can address a variety of mental health challenges.


LMHC - Licensed Mental Health Counselor

LMFT - Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

LCSW - Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCAC - Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor





Psychologists are trained to administer and interpret a number of tests and assessments that can help diagnose a condition or tell more about the way a person thinks, feels and behaves.

Psychologists also may practice therapy or counseling and help clients the way that LMHCs, LMFTs, and LCSW do. Psychologists obtain a doctoral degree to practice psychology (PhD or PsyD) which requires 4-6 years of study following an undergraduate degree.



Psychiatrists are medical doctors that specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illness. A psychiatrist can prescribe medication, which a psychologist, counselor, therapist, or clinical social worker CANNOT do.



Phone and Online Resources

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides free and confidential emotional support to people in crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


The CrisisText Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free 24/7 support and information via text message. Text HOME to 741741 and a live, trained crisis counselor will receive the text and respond quickly.




For a more detailed list of providers in each of these categories, please click on the following link to see a more interactive website from Valparaiso Community Schools: