SOUTHERN COLORADO — We're continuing the conversation around Mental Health Awareness, during the month of May. Experts say it's no surprise issues like depression and anxiety got worse during the pandemic and became more common.
Cost and accessibility are creating barriers and can deter people from seeking mental health care. Most insurers do cover services, but unlike your primary care doctor, therapists are seen more often, and those co-pays can up. About 56 percent of American adults with mental illness don't get treatment.
Dr. Jared Skillings, with the American Psychological Association, says there needs to be health care reform to fix this issue, but for now he suggests a number of resources if you're struggling with cost, or don't have insurance.
"It takes years and years to study to become a mental health practitioner, and a psychologist, just like it does to be a physician, and the services are expensive," Skillings said, during an interview wit our news partner.
Skillings says be sure to check with your community health center. There are often free clinics or services that are less expensive. If you're in college, look to the counseling centers on campus. Some colleges offer their services to the public at a low cost. There's also the National Suicide Hotline, which is completely free.
"Each of us are going through smaller traumatic events almost every day of our lives, and we now know those traumatic events are taking a toll and continue to take tolls on people," said Gion Friddo, President and CEO of Mental Health America.
Aside from cost, getting an appointment with a therapist can sometimes be a long process. It can take up to a month to get in as a new patient, then once you have that appointment, the therapist may not suit you. Then you have to start over.
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