Despite all the changes in health policies and mental health access, it is still difficult for people to get therapy services they need. I wanted to bring up an article written on NPR about a single mom’s experience of seeking out treatment to illuminate a segment of our population that still has great difficulty accessing mental health services.
The article states that:
More than 43 million Americans suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions, according to the most recent federal data. But more than half the people who felt like they needed psychological help last year, never got it. Even people who had insurance complained of barriers to care.
I believe that this is a place of opportunity for many of us, clinicians, to change the way mental health is assessed. I am not saying that I have the solution, but I am sure many of the smart readers out there have great ideas and we need to think about creative ways of shaping the therapy landscape besides just doing what has been done by clinicians of the past. We are in an age where technology grows and evolves rapidly. This is an indicator that there are many opportunities to change how therapy works and is accessed. We, as clinicians, need to think of more creative ways (e.g. 7 cups of tea, talk space) of helping people get the mental health support they are searching for.
I wanted to highlight a common experience for many people out there seeking out therapy services as told by a single mom so we can get a feel for how people are still struggling in their search for therapy:
Yet when Dunnege [a single mom] logged onto her insurance website, Anthem Blue Cross, to find a therapist, she realized her copay for a mental health visit was going to be upwards of $75 – even though her copay for other medical appointments was less. “There’s no way,” Dunnege says. “It’s out of my budget right now.”
What are your ideas that you’ve thought of to increase access to mental health services? I hope that this article plants a seed in your mind to help you think of creative ways to help people not only access services, but also think of and discuss with other peers methods of therapy that have not yet been developed. Perhaps you can be the next clinician to develop a new therapeutic modality and model!
Please come and engage and comment on your thoughts!