· By PYM STORE
Mental Health in an Unequal World
Why Mental Health Solutions Need To Be More Accessible
Access, or lack thereof, is one of the root causes of America’s mental health crisis. Mental health affects us all (we all have a brain, after all). While society may be becoming more understanding of the fact that mental health is a big part of our overall health, healthcare providers are still steps behind. Most insurance companies do not adequately cover mental health care costs, which means individuals are expected to pay for things like therapy sessions and medications out of pocket. While there’s no industry standard, an average 45-minute therapy session can cost anywhere from $75-$150, and can be upwards of $200 in expensive cities like New York and Los Angeles. And for those who are uninsured, these barriers to access may feel even greater.
We believe everyone has the right to prioritize their health. Nobody should feel deterred from getting the help they need because they can’t afford it. Still, we understand we live in an unequal world, and at this moment many people are not getting the help they need whether they are barred from access due to where they live, what they look like, or how much money they have to spend.
Mental Health Advocacy Education
As a brand on a mission to make people feel like the best version of themselves everyday, we feel particularly passionate about making mental health support and solutions accessible to all.
This year, for World Mental Health Day, we’re launching pre-registration to PYM’s Mental Health Advocacy Education Course. Anyone can become a PYM Mental Health Advocate. It’s totally free; all you need is internet access and some time to complete it. The course will teach you mental health communication best practices, peer support basics, and how to increase openness, adoption, and impact through action. At the end of the course, you should feel empowered and armed with the tools to best support colleagues, peers, friends, and family, and your own mental health too.
We know this won’t solve the problem overnight, and there is a lot of work to be done to make mental health solutions more accessible to the masses. But, we hope this program will help amplify and initiate conversations around mental health. If you’re looking for more ways to access affordable mental health care support, here are some of our tips.
Many big companies actually offer mental health benefits, like free counseling, through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Check with your HR department to see if your job may have any of these additional benefits.
Look for non-profits that offer free counseling, support groups, or other mental health services in your area. Some may even be able to help subsidize your treatments or medication.
Whether you’re in 5th grade or university, most schools offer free, confidential counseling services to students. Many universities also offer support groups that promote mental well-being by helping you connect with others going through the same things.
While many therapists don’t take insurance, many are still willing to treat patients who can’t pay the full cost out of pocket. Ask if your prospective therapist would be willing to work with you at a lower fee that feels feasible for you and your lifestyle. It can’t hurt to ask.