States such as Missouri, Arizona, South Dakota, Montana and Washington are among those with low rates when it comes to meeting residents' mental health needs. For those seeking affordable mental health services, there are several organizations that can help. And while that may seem like a lot, it's woefully inadequate for those who are diagnosed with serious or chronic mental health conditions at an early age. Right now, Medicare offers one of the worst coverage options for people with mental health and substance use problems.
If you're currently employed, it's also worth considering whether your company offers mental health benefits through an employee assistance program that can offer free or discounted services. Many providers also continue to operate outside the health insurance system, so patients are out of the network, which is expensive, says Carol Alter, medical director of the behavioral health system at Baylor Scott and White Health, based in Dallas. If you're interested in mental health services, psychiatrists aren't the only ones who can help you. If possible, avoid going to the emergency room, not only because you're likely to be left with a huge bill, but because the emergency room, according to Powell, isn't designed to work with people to improve their mental health over time.
Open Path Psychotherapy Collective is a non-profit organization that unites middle- and low-income individuals (and families) with affordable mental health and education services. One way forward is to increase training and collaboration between primary care physicians and mental health professionals, Alter says. If you have mental health problems, a psychiatrist will evaluate you for an underlying medical condition that could be causing your symptoms. The 26% National Association of Free Charity Clinics and the non-profit organization Open Path Psychotherapy Collective also offer location tools to help find mental health services at reduced prices.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which is a government agency, provides a treatment locator to help patients find low-cost treatment centers across the country. If you desperately need immediate mental health services, visit a mental health clinic communitarian. In addition, studies show that Medicare doesn't offer a strong network of mental health professionals, covering only about 23% of psychiatrists in the U.S. UU.