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Jul 12, 2021
Seeking help for a mental health disorder requires strength and bravery. Many misconceptions about mental illness still serve as barriers to getting help.
The average person would never look askance at someone with cancer or heart disease, but people who have a mental illness often fail to seek treatment out of shame. Though great strides have been made in educating the public about the nature of mental illness, mental health stigmas still exist. Here are some of the major mental health myths.
Mental health disorders are diagnosable and treatable, just like most physical illnesses. However, many people suffer in silence and never seek treatment until the condition gets so bad that they can’t function. Here are a few of the most common barriers that keep people from getting help with mental health conditions.
Many people with mental health disorders think they can’t afford care because they don’t realize that it’s covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare, private insurance, and state Medicaid plans. However, even if you have coverage, you may still face some obstacles.
If you are facing these obstacles to getting care for a mental illness, you do have options. Many consumers are unaware that they have the right to appeal denials of coverage and ask for out-of-network payment of benefits if the insurance carrier doesn’t have the specialist you need on their preferred list.
If you don’t have any insurance, you still have some avenues to seek mental health counseling. If you are a student, most schools, from elementary grades through colleges, offer counseling via school staff or through an agency contracted to provide that care. This counseling is usually free or deeply discounted. Universities that offer degrees in mental health care may be another resource. Clinicians in training often see clients for free as a service to the community that also gives them service hours toward their degree.
If none of these options are available to you, look for a community health center that offers care on a sliding scale basis. Your local health department may be able to help you with a referral. Your primary care medical care provider may be able to connect you with free or low-cost services as well.
Many things contribute to the idea that mental illnesses are something about which you should be embarrassed.
Some people avoid getting mental health treatment because they don’t know what they should say in a therapy session. The good news is that you don’t have to know what to talk about ahead of time. Your counselor will lead you through a discussion of what you’d like to achieve through therapy. Clients learn a great deal about themselves through this process and gain insight into how to make changes. It’s important to note that going to counseling is different from talking to a friend. The counselor has professional therapeutic skills that help you stay focused on making the changes you want.
At MHS DBT & Mental Health Services, we understand how hard it sometimes is to ask for help. Many clients feel immense social pressure to keep mental health problems a secret. The friendly and professional team at MHS can help you make those critical first steps through various services for adolescents and adults. Contact us today and start the journey to better mental health. You can also reach out by calling (952) 835-2002.
Featured Image: Srdjan Randjelovic/Shutterstock