Over the past few decades, there has been a lot of commotion regarding the state of our medical insurance industry. It is vastly different from the rest of the world. It’s true that many of these other countries are socialist in nature, thereby enabling people to receive “free” medical coverage. However, they are paying a lot more in taxes. Moreover, the citizens of those countries frequently complain about the long wait times until they can actually see a medical professional. If you’ve been diagnosed with a mental disorder in those countries, it will take months until you go to your first therapy session. This can have detrimental effects on your state of mind. Pushing off therapy is never the right thing to do.
On the other hand, we have the supposed best country in the world – the great United States of America. Sadly, there are different problems here, which some consider to be at least as bad as our neighbors across the Atlantic. What people love about America is their ability to call up any licensed professional and set an appointment within the week. There are no wait times in America, unless you’re going through Medicare/Medicaid. That’s all great, until you see the prices.
Let’s Talk About Therapy…But Not the Money
We all remember the days where no one was openly speaking about mental health. This article, which is more than 10 years old, shows just how much of a taboo mental health was. We’ve come a long way since then thankfully. Our nation has a serious mental health issue – the most recent examples been the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. While these shootings are a huge tragedy, the bight side is that they come at a time where we finally have the ability to take action. We are ready for it. The discussions have been ongoing for years. This is the first step in the process. For example, the first step to recovery for an alcoholic is to admit that he/she has a problem. We have admitted that our country has a mental health problem. We are past this step, which is oftentimes considered the hardest step to make. Now let’s move on!
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Everyone loves to discuss mental health these days. Stigma and taboo have been eliminated. Media talking heads, political pundits, and even celebrities are opening up about mental health awareness. Enough is enough. We all know there is a problem. But, this isn’t the only problem that is being discussed. Arguably one of the biggest reasons why people don’t go to therapy is because it’s too expensive. To add insult to injury, licensed therapists are the least likely to accept insurance. Think about how many millions of people decline therapy because $250 for each session isn’t something they can afford.
Looking at all this information, it seems that the problem is less a mental health issue and more of a money issue. And, this is a serious cause for concern because medical insurance isn’t changing anytime soon in this country. This means that we can expect to see therapy sessions remaining high in price.
So, What Are Your Options?
Sadly, there aren’t too many options that are on the table for people to explore. Yet, that still means that there are some options available to you. Here is what we recommend if you cannot afford traditional therapy:
- There are tens of thousands of cities that offer local and affordable clinics, programs and services. You can find them on the Mental Health America website.
- Online therapy is another option that you should explore. There has been a lot of talk about this type of therapy recently. While online therapy may not be for everyone, it’s a fraction of the cost of going to see a therapist in their office. E-counseling.com has listed several affordable online therapy services.
- Join a support group. Remember, these are people who are in the same boat regarding mental health. There are thousands of chapters across the country. The DBSA has a page where you can find one of these groups in your area.
Politicians will be politicians. Don’t expect our medical insurance system to change. Additionally, it’s unlikely that therapists will start accepting insurance en masse. But, don’t get down on yourself. The above three options are something you should consider. They have helped millions of people. There’s no reason they can’t help you.