With the current state of health care and the economy in the United States, it’s been said that an estimated 44 million people currently have no health insurance, while another 38 million have inadequate insurance. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly every 1 in 5 adults in the U.S lives with a type of mental illness. So what does that mean for treatment? There’s simply not enough people receiving it.
Therapy can be expensive, and if you aren’t currently covered by an insurance carrier, it can feel completely out of the question for you. However, some cost-effective resources are available for use so that you can utilize to get your mental health needs met- without breaking the bank.
Here are a few affordable alternatives to therapy.
Sharing your story helps. Often times there are free groups offered around various mental health concerns. If you’re dealing with an addiction or substance abuse, there are also a wide spread of AA Groups throughout the U.S. You can always try typing in your area of mental health concern into Google with the words “support group”, for instance, “depression support groups near me”, to find them in your area. You may even find an online community of people who share your same struggle.
EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Many employers offer what is known as EAP, or Employee Assistance Program. This work-based program is free of charge and offers confidential assessments, short-term counseling, and referral/follow up services to employees who are dealing with personal and/or work-related issues, like stress and anxiety. Review your employer’s benefits package or talk to someone in your HR department to learn more.
This 24/7 option for getting individuals through the worst moments of their lives and can help you get in touch with a professional (sometimes free depending on where you reside) who can help long-term. There are hotlines for a wide range of disorders like the National Eating Disorders Association and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
Training clinics are typically located in universities where the graduate students will become clinical or counseling psychologists. Because these clinics are staffed by students in training, they typically have affordable fees, often more than half off. In addition, most clinics offer a sliding scale which allows for fees to be reduced even further if the client has limited income or other financial difficulties. Some clinics may also provide medical services. The Association of Psychology Training Clinics provides a directory of clinics online here.