Here's What To Do If You Can't Afford Therapy


Because money shouldn’t get in the way of getting the help you need.

Money can be a big barrier when it comes to seeking therapy — but you DO have options.

Money can be a big barrier when it comes to seeking therapy — but you DO have options.

You might just have to spend a bit more time looking. To help you navigate the process, BuzzFeed Health talked to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine manager Kate Mallow and clinical psychologist Ryan Howes, Ph.D.

Chris Ritter / Via buzzfeed.com

If you have insurance, give them a call first. They’ll help clear up confusion about what’s actually covered.

If you have insurance, give them a call first. They'll help clear up confusion about what's actually covered.

Dealing with insurance can be a hassle, but it's the best place to start even if you wind up pursuing other options. “Coverage is a lot better than it used to be for therapy and counseling,” says Howes. “After some big bills were passed requiring insurance companies to provide the same coverage for mental health issues as physical issues, it has gotten more affordable than you might think.”

Your insurance provider will be able to tell you how to pursue treatment, whether that's finding an in-network therapist that you can see with a normal co-pay or paying out of pocket and getting reimbursed.

If you're worried that a lack of diagnosis will get in the way of your coverage — for example, if you're dealing with a lot of situational anxiety that you want to work through but don't meet the criteria for an anxiety disorder — talk to a therapist you're interested in seeing. They might be able to help you work with your insurance company to get coverage.

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Hit up 211 or the NAMI HelpLine if you want help finding free and affordable mental healthcare in your area.

Hit up 211 or the NAMI HelpLine if you want help finding free and affordable mental healthcare in your area.

Since your individual circumstances will play a big part in what kind of help is best for you, these resources can really help you zero in on the best options, according to Mallow.

The NAMI HelpLine can help you with anything under the mental health umbrella short of a crisis situation, so they'll be happy to field questions like “Where's the closest free support group near me?” or “How do I find low-cost treatment?” You can reach them at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email them at info@nami.org.

Dialing 211 will connect you with a resource and information helpline in your community that can refer you to things like support groups, homeless shelters, low-cost therapy, and other forms of support you might need. Check out their website here for more details.

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Check out the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) treatment locator.

Check out the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) treatment locator.

It's a comprehensive national organization that will locate low-cost therapy options, support groups, and free mental health clinics, says Mallow. Also, don't be thrown off by the name if you're not seeking treatment for substance abuse — it's great for that too, but it has resources for tons of mental health issues.

findtreatment.samhsa.gov

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