A big reason why so many don’t seek help is stigma. But there’s no shame in finding a listening, caring voice. Sometimes just being heard and discussing solutions is all it takes.
Here’s how to find help — from employee benefits to free and sliding scale counseling services.
Call your insurer for a list of covered providers in your area, including therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists.
In most cases, once you meet your deductible, those benefits kick in just as they would for physical health issues and you just pay the co-pay.
Many companies also offer employee assistance programs that can include a therapist at the work site, free of charge for a certain number of visits per year.
Pro-bono and sliding scale counseling
If you qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, mental health services are part of the coverage. But there’s a coverage gap for those who don’t have insurance through their employer.
There are thousands of therapists around the country who do pro-bono counseling or provide therapy on a sliding scale.
And that’s a good thing because some 30% of all psychologists in the US don’t take insurance, according to Mental Health America.
You can find out who those providers are in your city by reaching out to the agencies below:
Group counseling and peer support
Contact any of the mental health organizations above to find peer groups and other group counseling services. These organizations often have affiliates in cities that host group meetings. They offer coping mechanisms to deal with stress, depression, anxiety and any number of other mental health conditions.
If you know someone who needs immediate help and may be suicidal:
- U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255
Pro-active ways to stay mentally healthy
Therapists call this list “good mental health hygiene.” And you should try to do these things every day.
- Try to get proper sleep
- Watch what you eat: too much sugar and caffeine can affect your mood
- Get outside every day among plants, animals and other people
- Get moving, whether that’s taking a walk, doing yoga or dancing with friends
- Limit your screen time. Increasingly, therapists are finding a connection between too much technology and depression and anxiety.