Understanding mental health

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Care for the whole you

Your mind and body are connected. You deserve care that supports your total health — mind, body, and spirit. If you struggle with depression, anxiety, addiction, or other mental or emotional issues that interfere with your daily life, we’re here to help.


Did you know?

You don’t need a referral for mental health and addiction care services.

But your personal doctor is your biggest total health advocate. If you’re struggling, they can connect you with support and help you access care.

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Help is available — and treatment works

As a Kaiser Permanente member, you have access to a broad range of mental health and addiction care options. But even if you feel ready to seek out mental health support, it can be difficult to know where to start. So we make it easy. You can talk about your concerns with anyone on your care team at any time, and they’ll connect you to the support you need.

Addiction and recovery support

We offer evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery services for members struggling with drugs or alcohol. We’re here to help. 

Learn about our addiction care

Mental health and addiction care at Kaiser Permanente 

Learn about your mental health and addiction care options with these quick answers to common questions.

What types of mental health care does Kaiser Permanente provide?

Our goal is to offer care and support for everyone. So mental health care and addiction services aren’t limited to one department or specialty. That’s why you’ll find mental health care and addiction services throughout Kaiser Permanente — including primary care, emergency care, and even specialty areas like cardiac and oncology. And in addition to clinical care and support, we offer self-care tools and resources you can access anytime, at no cost. 

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What mental health conditions do you treat?

We offer treatment and support for all mental, emotional, and substance use conditions, including: 

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Personality disorders
  • Postpartum depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sleep problems
  • Substance use disorders and addiction
What if I’m not sure I need mental health care?

We don’t expect you to come in knowing what kind of care you need — that’s what we’re here for. To begin the conversation, just contact us. You can reach out to your personal doctor, call our 24/7 advice line, or contact your local Kaiser Permanente mental health department directly. Our primary care doctors are also trained to screen for, diagnose, and treat mild mental health conditions — so mental health support is always part of your overall care experience. 

Wherever you choose to begin the conversation, we’ll help you understand your options and figure out the next steps.

How can I help someone who’s struggling?

The best thing you can do to help someone you care about is to provide support, encouragement, and hope. If the person you want to help is a Kaiser Permanente member, you can encourage them to give us a call. We’ll talk to them about how they’re feeling and what they’re experiencing — that’s the first step to connecting them to the care and support they need.

How much care should I expect?

Everyone’s mental health journey is different — your progress and how you’re feeling are more important than the number of sessions you have. We have the same goal as you do — for you to feel better as soon as possible. 

At Kaiser Permanente, your treatment is tailored to your individual needs — and if those needs change, so does your treatment plan. Your care team is there to help you set goals for treatment, make progress toward achieving those goals, and keep moving in a positive direction.

Myths and facts about mental health

There are myths about mental health conditions that simply aren’t true. Unfortunately, these negative stereotypes prevent many people from reaching out and getting the help they need. By understanding the truth about mental health, you can spread the word to help raise awareness and fight stigma.

Myth: People with mental health conditions never get better

Fact: Treatment works for more than 8 in 10 people who get help for depression, and as many as 9 in 10 people who get help for panic attacks.

Source: Mental Health America

Myth: People with mental health conditions are just weak

Fact: Many factors can impact mental health — including biology, environment, and challenging life events. Anyone can develop a mental health condition — there’s no single cause, and it isn’t anyone’s fault.

Myth: If I get treatment, my employer will find out

Fact: You decide who you want to tell — and not tell — about your care. Your medical record is confidential, and you can’t lose your job or your health insurance for getting treatment for a mental health or addiction issue. 

Myth: If I get treatment, I’ll have to take medication

Fact: There are many types of treatment. Medication is just one of them — and it’s typically combined with therapy, self-care resources, and other types of support. We don’t automatically recommend medication to everyone — it’s a personal decision members and providers make together.

Need help now? If you think you're having a psychiatric emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.*