Mental health

11 Types of Mental Health Professionals to Know

Many types of mental health care professionals can help you achieve your recovery goals. Finding the right professional is easier when you understand the different areas of expertise and training.  

Assessment and Therapy  

+ Psychologists 

Trained to evaluate a person’s mental health using clinical interviews, psychological evaluations and testing. They can make diagnoses and provide individual and group therapy. 

+ Counselors, Clinicians, Therapists  

Trained to evaluate a person’s mental health and use therapeutic techniques based on specific training programs. They operate under a variety of job titles—including counselor, clinician, therapist or something else—based on the treatment setting.  

+ Clinical Social Workers  

Trained to evaluate a person’s mental health and use therapeutic techniques based on specific training programs. They are also trained in case management and advocacy services. 

Prescribe and Monitor Medication 

+ Psychiatrists  

Can diagnose mental health conditions, prescribe and monitor medications and provide therapy. 

+ Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioners 

Can provide assessment, diagnosis and therapy for mental health conditions or substance use disorders. 

+ Primary Care Physicians 

Can prescribe medication, but you might consider visiting someone who specializes in mental health care. 

+ Family Nurse Practitioners 

Can provide general medical services and prescribe medication like those of a primary care physician 

+ Psychiatric Pharmacists  

Skilled at medication management—meaning they evaluate responses and modify treatment, manage medication reactions and drug interactions, and provide education about medications. 

More Professionals 

+ Clinical Social Workers  

Provide case management, inpatient discharge planning services, placement services and other services to support healthy living. 

+ Certified Peer Specialists  

These specialists have lived experience with a mental health condition or substance use disorder. They are often trained, certified and prepared to assist with recovery by helping a person set goals and develop strengths. They provide support, mentoring and guidance. 

+ Pastoral Counselors 

Pastoral counselors are clergy members with training in clinical pastoral education. They are trained to diagnose and provide counseling. 

The NAMI HelpLine 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) can provide information on how to find various mental health professionals and resources in your area. 


Remember that you are not alone . For more resources and to learn more about the different types of mental health professionals, visit: