Are you one of the millions of Americans who have a mental health issue? You may have been scared off by stories of people paying $250 or more out of pocket. However, you don’t need to continue suffering. Many places across the country offer affordable mental health care. You need to know who to ask.
Contact your insurance company if you have health insurance. Some insurance plans cover or partially cover mental health care. If so, the insurance agent can provide a wealth of information for you. That may include how to look for treatment, a list of which mental health practitioners are part of the network, what co-pays or reimbursement you can expect, and how many sessions of therapy your insurance plan covers.
If you can’t currently afford health insurance, you can also investigate whether you qualify for Medicare and Medicaid. These programs may offer mental health services. However, what they offer varies state by state. Speak to a Medicare or Medicaid representative to figure out if you qualify and what benefits you could receive.
Some therapists work under a sliding fee scale. They provide lower-cost therapy to a certain number of clients of limited income. The threshold for discounted treatment varies from one practitioner to the next. You’ll need to call to find out if you qualify. However, even if this therapist is not taking on new clients and does not offer services within your budget, they may still be able to help. Many therapists can point you toward other practitioners they know of who offer sliding scale payment plans.
So how do you find a therapist to work with? You may want to ask a family member or trusted friend for recommendations. Otherwise, you can find a listing of therapists throughout the USA and Canada through psychologytoday.com/us/therapists. Finally, look up therapists in your local phone book or pull up a search engine and search for therapists in your town and state.
Universities and Teaching Hospitals
If you’re a college student, you probably have access to mental health services through the campus clinic. Call or drop by to learn about any fees that may apply and schedule an appointment. Otherwise, reach out to local colleges with a psychology program and teaching hospitals. These places may have therapists in training and graduate students who are gaining face-to-face experience with real clients. These therapists will be working under the supervision of a licensed mental health practitioner, so you should receive outstanding care for low cost or possibly even for free.
Don’t forget about community resources such as local churches, charity organizations, and support groups. These may or may not lead to one-on-one therapy with a trained professional. However, many people with depression have found strength, support, and resources from a community of people who understand what they’re going through.
Connect to the Mental Health Network
Mental health care isn’t a luxury. It’s a necessity for the millions who suffer from depression. There are resources available, from insurance plans to the community itself, that can direct you to the care you need at a price you can afford.
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