Mental health is so important. It guides our thought patterns, how we feel, and at times how we behave. Yet many people don’t care for their mental health for a variety of reasons. The importance of taking care of our mental health is not always something we are reminded of, consequently making it easy for us to let mental well-being self-care fall to the wayside.
Below are some common reasons you may avoid taking care of your mental health and suggestions for how you can address these:
One of the biggest complaints about therapy that I have heard is that it is expensive. It is true that individual therapy can be costly but there are options.
If you have health insurance, you can find out more about your mental health benefits by calling your insurance company directly. They can not only connect you with a list of providers in your area, but they can break down the details of what would be covered by your insurance giving you a better idea of what your actual cost will be. If you know what mental health services your insurance covers, most therapists will include on their profiles/websites information regarding which insurance they accept.
If you do not have insurance, don’t fret! You can contact local therapists and find out who might offer a sliding scale payment. A sliding scale payment is worked out with the individual provider based on financial need. You can also get in touch with your local social service agency or a community center to find out what mental health services they might offer. You may be able to find a support group in the community that is low-no cost as well.
Talk to your provider about possible payment plans if you are in financial stress. Most providers will allow you to pay in increments as they want to support you to receive the treatment you need.
Can’t Find the Time
Many people today are overwhelmed with responsibility to their family, career, friends, volunteering, school, committees, etc. Therapy is another commitment that many people are stressed about finding the time to address. If you can, find a therapist that is close to the proximity of wherever most of your time is spent. This will cut down on drive/transportation time leaving a little over an hour for your therapy session once a week. If there is no one in the area that you connect with or can see, a lot of therapists now offer web-based sessions. It’s important to note that web-based sessions are not always covered by insurance. If you are planning on using insurance, check with your policy holder to see what they will cover.
Other things you can do for yourself include taking time for self-care. You can take a nice bath, go to the gym, turn off your phone and read a book. Your self-care is individual to you. It is something that you can do for yourself and relax. If therapy is not in the cards, make sure to build a self-care routine into your weekly schedule.
Let’s face it, while mental health has been in the conversation more lately, there is still a stigma around it. And while there are many professionals, celebrities, and others in the community trying to #breakthestigma; it still exists. There is a fear of being stigmatized as “crazy” if you seek out therapy, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Many people will head to their family physician when they feel sick. Seeking mental health treatment is very much the same, you are simply getting professional guidance on how to better care for yourself.
Therapy is an investment in you. When you feel good about yourself emotionally, you will take care of yourself physically and be more productive, and a better caretaker for others in your life.
Taking the first step to seek therapy can be difficult, nevertheless you and your mental health are worth that step. Once you take it, you will be glad that you did.
- Find A Therapist
- Find Treatment
- Types of Therapy
- Therapy Options Guide
- Finding the Right Therapist
- Important Questions for Your Therapist and Insurance Carrier
About the author:
Rachel received her Master of Clinical Counseling from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. Rachel has extensive experience in behavioral health counseling with adolescents and families that exhibit anxiety and related disorders, oppositional defiant and disruptive behavior disorders, and trauma. She has a special interest in CBT for anxiety, trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder and related disorders, and has received specialized training in LGBTQ Affirmative Therapy as well as mindfulness-based treatment therapy, and motivational interviewing. In addition, she has obtained advanced training in the application of CBT for Insomnia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs), including skin picking, hair pulling and nail biting as well as other anxiety related disorders. Rachel’s treatment approach is described as supportive, educational, solution focused, while also being friendly, intuitive, and compassionate with a bit of humor thrown in.