A distressingly large number of people with mental health issues have little to no insurance.
· 11.1% of Americans with a mental illness are uninsured.
· 8.1% of children have private insurance that does not cover mental health services.
· In 2019, 24.7% of adults with a mental illness reported an unmet need for treatment.
· Over half of adults with a mental illness do not receive treatment, totaling over 27 million untreated adults in the U.S.
The sad truth is, many Americans struggle to pay for expensive mental health treatment without insurance, often, without cash on hand.
There is help out there and we've created the following listing to get you started:
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Assistance (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). This resource is free, confidential and staffed by professional volunteers who can talk you through a crisis and/or connect you with nearby resources that can help.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness operates a toll free helpline for people who need to get mental health help with no insurance. You can reach NAMI online at Nami.org or by phone at 1-800-950-6264. You can also text “NAMI” to 741741 on a smartphone.
Or visit: https://nami.org/Home
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255. On July 16, 2020, the FCC adopted rules to establish 988 as the new, nationwide, 3-digit phone number Americans can use to connect with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors. By July 16, 2022 phone service providers will be required to direct all 988 calls to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Until then, please continue to use 1-800-273-TALK.
Employee Assistance Program. Hear us out—We think this is one of the most underutilized work benefits and it is widely available to almost anyone employed, even on a part-time basis. EAPs are part of many benefits packages, and a call to your Human Resources folks will give you more information. An EAP is a work-based intervention program designed to identify and assist employees in resolving personal problems that may be adversely affecting their performance at work. EAPs offer free short-term counseling to employees and family members, and the EAP will usually set you up with a counselor, making it user friendly. The EAPs that Virginia works with gives clients five to ten therapy sessions with no cost or co-pay. When she works with clients who have high deductibles before their insurance kicks in, Virginia encourage them to go through their EAP. You’d be surprised how much you can get in five or ten sessions.
Call 211. This is the nationwide, non-emergency referral service for state and community services. Through 211, people can find out about resources that may help with healthcare costs; however, this is not a hotline. Some healthcare concerns 211 resource specialists can help locate resources for include:
· Access to affordable healthcare, including locating clinics that are free, low-cost, or work on a sliding scale
· Lower cost mental health and counseling options
· Programs to provide financial assistance to pay medical bills
· Transportation services to help individuals get medical treatment
· Information on local agencies that can assist in prescription costs or pharmaceutical programs for medication assistance
· Services for substance abuse, including counseling and treatment programs
If you attend a college or university, check with the college health center to find out what counseling services they offer. If you don’t attend but have universities and colleges in your area, call to see if they have a psychology department. They might provide a reduced rate or a sliding scale therapy with clinician-supervised students training to become psychologists or therapists.
Call around and speak to local mental health professionals. See if they will work on a sliding scale, or ask for their recommendations. Folks who work in mental health all tend to hang out together and are usually very connected to our local community resources.
Lastly, try contacting a social worker in a government agency or hospital and ask them. In our experience, we have found that social workers have a unique super power: knowing things. They are incredibly resourceful!
Do you know other resources we can list here? If so, please reach out and let folks know on our Community Facebook Page.
“If you believe change is possible, you want to change, and you are willing to do the work, you absolutely CAN get your life back.”