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How To Find Affordable Mental Health Care

Written byDesiree Smith

The majority of people are unaware of how common mental illnesses are. According to estimates, one in five adults in the US struggles with some type of mental health problem. The heartbreaking reality is that a great number of these individuals never get proper care, usually due to financial limits. Now, despite common belief, affordable mental healthcare is a reality! We are here to talk about how to get the treatment you need! Look carefully at all these insightful strategies and determine which fits your needs.

The First Step—Professional Mental Health Analysis

The state of your mental health has a direct bearing on your overall health, which in turn affects your mood, thoughts, and actions, as well as your relationships with people in your immediate circle. The best thing you can do when struggling with conditions like anxiety, depression, or trauma is to seek professional help. There are different types of mental healthcare providers, from psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and counselors to social workers. These professionals can prescribe medication and conduct counseling, psychotherapy, or group sessions.

However, if you suspect you have a mental health condition, especially if it's preventing you from functioning normally, it could be a good idea to check into a mental hospital, where your mental state will be thoroughly assessed before admission. It is at this time that you may also be provided with affordable treatment options to choose from.

Factors Influencing Mental Healthcare Costs

The first step in finding affordable mental healthcare is knowing what affects its costs, as the cost of your treatment can depend on a few variables. Here are some factors you should consider:

  • Type of treatment needed: Depending on your condition, whether it is crippling anxiety, stress, or PTSD, you might need individual or group therapy. The fees for each can range anywhere from tens to several hundred dollars.
  • The specialist you require: If you must see a highly trained therapist with years of experience specializing in a specific or more challenging mental health condition, you will probably be charged more. If the specialist also has a good reputation and is in high demand, prices will grow exponentially.
  • Location: As with everything else, your treatment cost will rise if you choose to get mental healthcare in big cities. Conversely, prices will be lower for treatment received in smaller cities or towns.
  • Treatment length: Each treatment type has a different length, varying from a couple of sessions to 15 or even 30 sessions. As you may expect, the longer the treatment, the more expensive it gets.
  • In-person or online therapy: Online therapy has gained popularity over the past years due to its commodity and lower price.

Finding Affordable Mental Healthcare

When on the lookout for affordable mental healthcare, you should start by going to your doctor. However, there are also other options that you should consider. Here is a detailed list of the things you can do to find mental healthcare at a lower cost:

Talk To Your Doctor

Your doctor, also referred to as a General Practitioner, or GP, should be the first person you talk to regarding your mental health concerns. They can check and diagnose any possible mental health disorders and help you make a treatment plan. Your GP can also offer treatment options and help you set goals regarding your treatment. Everything discussed with your doctor is confidential and will stay private.

Contact Local Social Services

You can always contact your state’s public health department or county government. They can then put you in contact with community-based clinics that might offer low-cost mental health treatment. As an alternative, you can check their site and look for the health service department.

Seek Treatment at a University Clinic

You can often get free or low-cost therapy from programs at university hospitals and medical schools. Therefore, contact a nearby college or university to determine if they have such programs. Find out more by visiting their website and accessing the social work, psychology, or psychiatry departments. Also, some schools study certain mental health conditions. As a result, you can get free therapy and medicine if you qualify for a study at a school near you that is looking into your diagnosis.

Talk To Your Employer About Employee Assistance Programs

Employers sometimes offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), allowing workers free mental health treatment. Read your employee handbook or call your HR department to learn more about your EAP benefits. However, note that an employee can usually only get a certain number of free EAP benefits each year. If you've reached your limit, talk to a mental healthcare professional about out-of-pocket rates that are lower so you can keep getting help.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Your insurance might not be able to cover the costs of the whole treatment, but then again, it might be! In case it doesn't, it's possible your policy will cover the costs partly, leaving you with a very low co-pay to handle. So, for any insurance-related questions, feel free to contact your provider!

Those with out-of-network benefits will be happy to know that a lot of mental health care providers can help them fill out the paperwork the insurance company requires for reimbursement. Just make sure that, if it comes to your paying for the treatment for the time being, the amount you have to pay out of pocket is something you are comfortable with.

Research Local Support Groups

Often, people who are struggling with a mental health condition feel alone, isolated, or misunderstood. However, joining a community of people who go through similar struggles can make you feel less lonely and even encourage you to be open about your feelings. That is the power of support groups, and the best part about them is that there’s usually no cost for joining mutual support groups. Don’t feel discouraged if the first group you find doesn’t feel like a perfect fit. Finding your pack can take time, and being surrounded by people with whom you can feel comfortable is still an important step toward healing.

Take Charge Of Your Mental Health

Our mental health matters, as it is a big part of our overall well-being. Having access to mental health treatments promotes a better quality of life. Nevertheless, there are plenty of people who need mental healthcare and never get treatment, thinking they can’t afford it. If this is your case, know there are solutions for finding affordable mental healthcare. In truth, getting the care you need is possible even without insurance. So don’t lose hope! Talking to your GP, researching community resources, or joining a support group are great ways to access free or affordable therapy.

Looking for help? Check out these resources.

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