To say that times are hard for many people during a global health and financial crisis, as the world finds itself today, is an understatement. The stresses and worries that were already present are only being added to in the current climate and, as a result, the mental health of the population across the globe is becoming a big issue.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently published the results of a mental health survey that was completed by 5,412 US residents back in June 2020, and the findings are staggering: 30.9 percent of those who participated stated that they were suffering from anxiety or a depressive disorder, and perhaps even more worryingly, 25.5 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds had seriously considered suicide in the month leading up to the survey.
If you find yourself suffering from mental health issues, then you’re not alone. The survey would suggest that almost one in three people around you are probably going through something similar right now. Opening up to those closest to you can seem like a huge deal, but if you can find the strength to share your feelings with the people you care most about, you might just be surprised at how many of them know exactly what you are talking about.
Sometimes, you may prefer to seek help through professional channels but you feel that the financial burden will only exacerbate your problems, especially if money troubles are partly to blame for your mental health issues in the first place. It can seem like a “catch-22” situation but, fortunately, there are many options available. Continue reading to learn how to find affordable mental health treatment.
1. Find Affordable Health Insurance
Medicaid and Medicare provide a range of mental health benefits, as do the majority of private health plans. Check your policy to find out exactly what you are entitled to receive. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), federal health programs will generally offer more mental health services than private plans. So if you are covered by one of these, check your documents or give them a call.
If you don’t currently have medical insurance that covers therapy, it is worth looking into what policies may be available to you. If you do not qualify for a federal plan, be sure to compare private insurance plans. You may find one at a low cost that covers the mental health services you need.
2. Find a Low-Cost Therapist or Clinic
A private clinic might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you are looking for affordable mental health care, but in reality, they do not always charge a fortune. Speak to your local clinic, and do not be afraid to bring up the subject of cost.
Some therapists offer sliding-scale therapy fees, which basically means they have different prices for different people, depending on their financial situations. And even if they do not have any low payment options available, any respectable therapist will be happy to guide you in the direction of someone who does. One important thing to remember is that you do not want to necessarily look for a cheap therapist, but rather focus your search on reputable, qualified professionals who are able to offer a reduced price in certain circumstances.
You can use resources such as the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) to search for a therapist near you.
3. Consult Your Community Resources
If you’re finding it difficult to locate affordable therapy through traditional ways, then you may want to consider a local support group. Many highly respected therapists work closely with the Community Mental Health Centers to offer affordable counseling to local residents. A quick Google search will show you where your nearest Community Mental Health Center is.
If you live near a university, then you could contact them to see if they have an undergraduate psychology program that runs their own community counseling center. They are run by well-trained graduate students who are willing to offer their newfound knowledge and assistance in exchange for real-life experience. A win-win you could say.
4. Seek Online Counseling
Online therapy may seem like a strange idea to some people, but there are many benefits to utilizing technology in this way.
You can take advantage of online support groups that meet via video conferencing software on your computer. The beauty of this method is that you don’t even have to leave the house to begin your treatment, and you can get started ASAP.
They usually offer services such as:
- A range of therapists to choose from.
- Support via text, phone, video and live chat.
- Platforms for different age groups.
- Self-help guides.
- Subscription plans to reduce the cost of sessions.
You will also be able to find therapists who run individual online sessions if you prefer to work one-on-one.
5. Therapy and Counseling Apps
Perhaps the most convenient way to receive mental health treatment could be staring you in the face right now. There are several phone and tablet apps that have been developed by healthcare professionals to provide a modern approach to therapy.
These apps usually offer the option to speak with a therapist face-to-face, but they have the added benefit of approaching your treatment in a measurable and progressive way. You can complete various modules that will tackle individual problems by providing you with professional help and advice as you work your way through a course of therapy.
It is a different approach to counseling, but it does seem to be working well for some people. You can check reviews for online apps and online platforms that you might want to consider.
There are various ways to approach counseling, and not all of them cost huge amounts of money. The most important thing is to start talking about your problems and begin your path to better mental health as soon as possible. You may wish to try a few different methods that are suggested above, as you will find some suit your personal circumstances better than others. Either way, there is always a solution out there for you.