Mental health and substance use disorder graphic icon
Mental health and substance use disorder

Take care of your emotional wellbeing

If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, a mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress, call or text 988 for quick access to counseling help.

Mental health is just as important as your physical health, and when you or someone you love is struggling, it’s important to find the right care. We can connect you with resources and treatment options that can help you feel better and live your best life.

Where do I start?

Your primary care provider

Start here. Your PCP already knows your overall health and needs. Discuss symptoms and ask for recommendations. However, you do not need a referral from your PCP for counseling or medication.

BCBSRI care managers

Licensed professionals work with you and your providers to get you the services you need. These BCBSRI teams also can review your medicines to make sure you understand why and how to take them. Call 1-800-274-2958.

BCBSRI Doctors Online

Talk with a therapist or psychiatrist on your phone or computer. Search “BCBSRI Drs. Online” from the App Store or Google Play* or visit

  • Therapy – for issues such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and stress. Schedule an appointment online or call 1-800-345-1419.
  • Psychiatry – for issues such as anxiety and depression and to evaluate the potential benefits of medication. Schedule an appointment online or call 1-877-410-5548.

Find a provider

Call BCBSRI Customer Service at 1-800-639-2227 for help.

What programs can help?

This quick guide lists some programs that can help you with:

  • Substance use disorders (alcohol and drug)
  • Mental health issues
  • Dementia

BCBSRI has specifically worked with the programs and providers below to connect our members to important services they provide. This is not an exhaustive list or an endorsement of a particular provider. The information is not a referral or recommendation of any particular healthcare provider, facility, or program. 

There are, of course, many other providers you can use, and you can find them in our Find a Doctor tool. You should always confirm the provider’s participation in your plan’s network before receiving services, as provider networks are subject to change.* You’ll also want to ask about the cost to you or check your subscriber agreement in myBCBSRI for details.

*While BCBSRI works to validate that the information displayed is up to date and accurate, it is subject to change. BCBSRI cannot guarantee availability for the providers or programs listed. Please call the provider prior to scheduling an appointment to verify that the provider continues to be part of your plan's network.

  • For: adults and children
  • Treats: substance use disorders
  • What to expect: BCBSRI care managers will help you find coaches from among several peer recovery groups who have lived with mental health, alcohol, and drug issues 
  • Provider/program: various peer recovery groups
  • Get started: call BCBSRI care managers, 1-800-274-2958
  • For: adults at risk for hospitalization or recently hospitalized
  • Treats: mental health issues and substance use disorders
  • What to expect: services in your home, over the phone, or at HealthPath offices from a care manager, psychiatrist, therapist, and others
  • Provider/program: Butler Hospital HealthPath
  • Get started: (401) 415-8868
  • For: adults
  • Treats: mental health issues and substance use disorders
  • What to expect: short-term help following a hospital stay; clinicians and care managers help you manage appointments and find community resources; they also offer therapy and medication management sessions until your long-term outpatient care starts
  • Provider/program: Butler Hospital
  • Get started: call BCBSRI care managers, 1-800-274-2958 
  • For: adults
  • Treats: substance use disorders
  • What to expect: medication-assisted treatment, care management, counseling
  • Provider/program: various providers
  • Get started: call BCBSRI care managers, 1-800-274-2958, for help locating an in-network provider
  • For: adults
  • Treats: dementia
  • What to expect: a personalized plan for caregivers designed to help members safely remain at home and not be separated from loved ones
  • Provider/program: The Alzheimer’s Association Rhode Island Chapter
  • Get started: call BCBSRI at (401) 459-CARE or contact the nurse care manager with your primary care provider (PCP) for more information

Note: For all services, please check your Subscriber Agreement to see the amount you pay for visits.

What else can I do for myself or a loved one?

If you’re looking for help for a loved one, BCBSRI care managers may be able to help you find support. Call them at 1-800-274-2958.

BH Link
24/7 crisis intervention service. Call (401) 414-LINK (5465) or visit the 24/7 Triage Center at 975 Waterman Avenue in East Providence.

Kids’ Link RI
24/7 crisis line to connect children and youth to care and resources. Call 1-855-543-5465.

What are the different types of care?

Individual behavioral health providers

  • Psychiatrist – A medical doctor who specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating mental illness. Psychiatrists can prescribe psychiatric medications.
  • Psychologist – A licensed, mental health professional trained to work with mild or severe psychological issues. Psychologists do not prescribe medications.
  • Counselor – A licensed, mental health professional, such as a social worker, mental health counselor, or marriage and family therapist, who evaluates and treats common life stressors and mild to moderate mood disorders. Counselors do not prescribe medications.

Intensive outpatient programs

  • 3 days a week, 3-4 hours a day, for 4-6 weeks (typically). Most are structured so people can continue their normal daily routines.
  • Combination of individual and group therapy (family therapy if appropriate) and may include psychiatrist evaluation and medication management.
  • Recommended for people who are experiencing emotional and behavioral problems and would benefit from learning how to manage their symptoms and issues in a structured environment.

Partial day hospitalization programs

  • 5 days a week, 5 hours a day (typically)
  • Combination of individual and group therapy (family therapy if appropriate) and often includes evaluation by a psychiatrist
  • Recommended for people who require more intensive treatment than traditional outpatient care, are experiencing serious emotional and behavioral problems, or are at risk for hospitalization as well as for treatment following inpatient hospitalization

Medication-assisted treatment

  • Offers structured and intensive services—including medication-assisted treatment, counseling, and care management—to allow members to maintain recovery in a less-intensive treatment program than a hospital setting
  • For adult members requiring comprehensive services to facilitate recovery from substance use disorders

Inpatient acute hospital care

  • Round-the-clock care in a hospital setting, typically lasts a couple of days
  • Daily visits by a team of professionals, including a psychiatrist and group therapy (if appropriate)
  • Recommended to stabilize a crisis and/or severe symptoms

Inpatient residential care

  • Typically a short-term placement in a residential setting close to a person’s home until they stabilize and can return to the community
  • Combination of group, individual, and family therapy

*Standard mobile phone carrier and data usage charges apply. The downloading and use of this app is subject to the terms and conditions of the app and the online stores from which it is downloaded.

Doctors Online is a telemedicine service provided by American Well®, an independent company that administers Doctors Online on behalf of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island.

Coverage and cost sharing varies depending on the plan. To see your plan’s specific coverage and costs, please refer to the Subscriber Agreement or contact the number on your member ID card.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. It is not an endorsement or recommendation of a particular healthcare provider or treatment program.