Whether you’re suffering from a full-on breakdown or you’re just having a hard day, it’s normal to need mental health help from time to time. The question is, how do you get the help you need? If you’re in need of therapy or other forms of mental health assistance, there are several options available to you – but it’s up to you to discover them and determine the best path forward.
Psychotherapy and Insurance
One of the best options for mental health is therapy. With the help of a trained and licensed therapist, you can talk about the issues that are most relevant to you, explore mental and emotional elements of your life, discover and use new strategies to help you manage your mental health symptoms, and ultimately pave the way for a better future.
The only real downside of psychotherapy is that it can be expensive. Experienced care providers typically charge a premium for each therapy session, and if you’re going every week, the costs add up quickly.
The good news is that most healthcare insurance providers, including Cigna, offer at least some coverage for therapy. In mostsome cases, you will may only be responsible for a small copay for each session, while your insurance company pays for the bulk of the therapy cost. most of your fees.
If you have an insurance policy in place already, or if you’re looking for one that can help you find psychotherapy inexpensively, pay especially close attention to the following variables:
- Copays. What are the copays associated with this policy? If you attend sessions with a therapist in your network, what is the amount you’re responsible for? Are you responsible for a set fee copay or a percentage copay? Typically, set fee copays are better, and the smaller the copay is, the less you’ll pay per session.
- Deductibles. You’ll also want to look at the deductible for your policy and how that deductible applies. In mostmany cases, the deductible will be waived for mental health sessions, but this isn’t a guarantee.
- Networks. Most health insurance companies have a network of providers they want you to prioritize; seeing providers in network affords you more coverage and is therefore much less expensive than seeing providers out of network. Always ask your therapist whether they are in-netowrk with your insurance. check to make sure your mental healthcare providers are in network.
If you don’t have an insurance policy in place that offers coverage for psychotherapy sessions, there are some other options for reducing costs, including:
- Ask about fees (and consider negotiating). Talk to your therapist directly and ask them about their fees. They may be able to offer you a reduced rate if you don’t have an insurance policy or if you’re out of network. In some cases, you can negotiate for a better fee.
- Pursue sliding scale therapy. Many mental healthcare providers offer an option known as sliding scale therapy, where you’re responsible for a fee that’s proportionally calculated based on your income level. This is designed to make therapy affordable to more people, since people with lower income are expected to pay less.
- Seek free or low-income services. Depending on your income level, you may also qualify for free or low-income services.
- Look for online options. Online therapy gives you far more options and could help you discover a service that’s within your budget.
Alternatives to Psychotherapy
If you’re not interested in psychotherapy, or if you feel you can’t afford it, there are other options for mental health help available to you:
- Support groups. Through MentalHealth.gov and other online portals, you can discover a wide range of support groups available for people like you. Whether you’re struggling with something specific, like substance abuse or the recent death of a loved one, you can probably find a group that’s appropriate for your needs.
- Friends and family members. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends and family members for mental health support when you need it. The people in your life are probably more than willing to listen to you if you want to talk – or provide other forms of support. You just have to ask. And if you don’t have many friends or family members currently, consider finding some new ones through support groups or community resources.
- Suicide prevention (and similar) hotlines. In the United States, the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is a free service designed to prevent suicide and provide immediate assistance for people in distress. The number to call is 988. If you’re at a low point and you need someone to talk to, don’t be afraid to call upon this line of defense.
No matter what, there are people, groups, and resources willing to help you during even your worst mental health crises. Don’t be afraid to lean on these resources when you need them most.
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