By Becca Owens
More and more, American society is acknowledging the importance of prioritizing mental health in a person’s life. However, some people still don’t immediately recognize their need for therapy. Many who do recognize their need for mental health support and intervention find that mental health therapy is more expensive than they expected and need creative ideas to find the help they need.
The Benefits of Therapy
People often recognize they are struggling in some area of life but are unable to pin down what exactly is going on or how to move beyond that difficult season. The following are some key indicators that it’s time to reach out for help:
- Uncontrollable emotions
- Past trauma
- Persistent unexplained illness and/or fatigue
- Substance abuse
- Ongoing concern from others
- Disengagement from regular life activities
If one or more of these points describes your life right now, it’s a good time to consider therapy. Many people have apprehension for beginning therapy because of the lingering stigma around mental health, but talking with friends and family, who have seen a therapist for issues in their own lives, can be invigorating and provide hope for those looking for help.
The Expense of Therapy
Patients new to the world of mental health often wonder why therapy is so expensive. While some insurance plans cover mental health services, it is often much more complicated than with medical services. Plans may be worded in such a way that is extremely restrictive on what is covered, limiting what diagnoses and types of therapy qualify for insurance payment. Many mental health providers do not even accept insurance as payment because of complications getting set up as a provider and receiving payment; therefore, they work strictly on an out-of-pocket basis. In these cases, it is helpful to pursue less conventional, yet credible and helpful, options.
Affordable Therapy for You
One of the greatest benefits of living in a society that prioritizes mental health is the influx of affordable, and even free, resources and services that are available. If you first think that therapy is just too expensive for you, don’t get discouraged. There is always some form of help available.
The first arena to explore is your insurance coverage. Many health insurance plans do offer benefits for mental health, even if they are more complicated than seeking medical treatment. Start by calling your insurance provider to ask for your specific benefits. Be sure to ask for a list of in-network providers and a list of what services and diagnoses are covered. If you do not have medical insurance, you may qualify for Medicaid to receive health insurance benefits.
There is also a plethora of free or extremely low-cost resources available in public domains. You could call a local clinic and ask for book recommendations. There are many free academic articles that may be helpful resources, too. Podcasts are popular sources of information, and you may be able to find a mental health podcast that can provide valuable insight.
Other ways to find help with the cost of therapy include the following:
- Community support groups. Many communities have specialized support groups for different types of mental health issues ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder to addiction. These groups are often free or low-cost.
- Benefactor support. Some religious centers have benevolence funds and may be willing to subsidize therapy for you, or they may offer religious-based therapy for free or at a lower rate.
- Holistic therapy. Trying a holistic therapy like massage or acupuncture can be a good place to start to reduce stress and other symptoms related to mental illness.
- Discounted rates. Many therapists will offer a discounted rate for those in need. For those who do not, they might be able to recommend someone who does. They may also connect you with a local university or training center to receive therapy services from a student, who is under the direction of a seasoned therapist. These sessions are generally much cheaper than those with a licensed therapist.
Some people may find that when they look over their finances there are ways to cut costs in other areas in order to prioritize therapy for a couple months. Therapy has shown to be highly beneficial for people. Though many feel they cannot afford to pursue it as an option, it will save them both money and life enjoyment in the end.
Help Finding Therapy Options
If you or someone you love needs help finding affordable therapeutic options, give us a call at our 24-hour, toll-free helpline. Our encouraging admissions coordinators will help you discern the best course of action with your unique situation and connect with you resources to suit your needs. Please call today.