The number of people diagnosed with anxiety and depression is expected to rise because of the coronavirus pandemic. The health crisis put everyone in limbo. The uncertainty is a contributing factor to your mental health problems during these past six months. But the issue all over the world remains: People with mental health problems are not seeking treatment. In the United States, over 56% of Americans with mental illness do not receive treatment, a survey in 2018 said.
There are two reasons why people are not seeking mental health treatments. One, there’s still a stigma surrounding mental illnesses. If there’s a stigma around attending drug rehab clinics, imagine how much more taboo it is to talk about one’s mental health problems. People don’t want to talk or hear about mental health problems, nor do they want to put this issue at the forefront of national consciousness.
And then, two, the health care system in the United States isn’t treating mental health as comprehensively as it does physical health. You will not find an insurance company that covers an annual mental health exam. Many therapists don’t accept insurance plans because they are not covered. These two reasons almost make it impossible for people to seek help for their mental health problems.
Check In-Network First
If you have health insurance, check with them first about your needs. They can process your treatments in-house, or they can find a vendor for it. You will then have an idea of how much out-of-pocket costs you need to shoulder. If you do not have health insurance, try asking help from local social services agencies, student health centers, and community-based healthcare centers.
Don’t go to the emergency room if you have a mental health problem unless it’s an urgent crisis. Emergency rooms and the people manning them are not designed and trained to handle mental health problems. You will only end up with a huge bill if you visit the emergency room.
Find a Sliding Scale Provider
A sliding scale provider is someone who will let you pay based on what you can afford. The therapists will take into account your income and financial situation. They don’t take insurance, but they will work with you about how much you can afford. Some therapists go from $150 per hour down to just $60 per hour, while some interns will do a session for $10 an hour.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your therapist. Most of them want to help you with your mental health problems. Be honest with them about your financial situation, so they can find a way to help you.
See Eligibility for Medicaid
If you have medical assistance (Medicaid), look for a therapist in your network. Many therapists who accept Medicaid work in community clinics and mental health centers. They are affiliated with universities since the centers act as training grounds for students. Most of the time, you can even get help outside the normal clinic hours as students and interns are extra resourceful in trying to help people with mental health problems.
Although it is more difficult to find help for your mental health problems, don’t give up. It’s a bit frustrating, so ask a friend to help you seek treatment. The right resources for you are out there.