I have had a problem with mental illness in the past. I am lucky in the sense that I get coverage from the military. However many people need treatment but have no obvious way to pay for it. I did an article a couple of years ago on how to find some ways to pay for mental health issues. However I just recently in my research ran across a reference that gave more options and if you need treatment for a mental health issue, this may be for you.
First if you need health care for mental health, do what you have to do to get it. Untreated mental health issues can ruin your life. There are 38 million Americans without private health care so this issue is very important information. Of course many people do have private health care and recently there have been laws that require that insurance companies pay equally for mental health issues as for regular health issues.
However the cost of treatment has gone up dramatically so it is difficult sometimes to deal with residual costs.
What are some alternatives?
Community-based resources are organizations that are maintained by the community. For example my city has that and all you have to do is apply and if you are low-income or do not have an opportunity one way or another to get treatment you will probably qualify.
Many of us can benefit from pastoral counseling. Two pastors I know have been through special training to counsel people. The nature of their work makes them good listeners and of course this would apply to rabbis and priests as well.
You might consider joining a self-help group. While many people don’t like groups some find it very helpful. Hearing other people with the same problems or hearing a person put their pride aside to share feelings can be a healing experience.
Of course an older American can look to Medicare and Medicaid.
I’m sure there are other options and sometimes simply talking to your regular doctor will help or they may be able to get you in to see someone on an inexpensive basis.
I know that periodically one of our local hospitals will have seminars on various topics and sometimes they deal with mental health issues.
Don’t overlook the library, internet and the libraries of hospitals.
I have linked to my article that I wrote back in 2008 for any ancillary options that may be of value to you.
As I said at the outset of the article essentially where there is a will there is a way and nothing is more important than getting treatment for mental health if you have a problem.
“How to Pay for Mental Health Services,” Fact Sheet, Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Management Health and Human Services (SAMHSA)
Associated Content Website, Gary Davis, “Tips on How to Pay for Mental Health Treatment”