Preventative health care is an important way to make sure you stay healthy and with proper insurance, scheduling a checkup is relatively easy. That is a bodily checkup, not a mental health checkup.
If you are interested in seeking a therapist/mental health professional/counselor in order to keep your mental health in check, getting the approval from your average medical insurance company is not the easiest task and then finding a professional who will then take your insurance is nearly impossible.
According to a recent survey from the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists nearly half of therapists in California don’t take insurance, leaving the state with a huge shortage. And that is just California statistics! Other states share similar statistics or are even worse.
“One [reason is] because the reimbursement rates don’t provide a living wage,” Michael Klein, a psychologist practicing in San Francisco for more than 20 years says. “You can’t own a home and drive a car and survive on what in-network providers pay you. The second thing is the paperwork. For an hour of psychotherapy, you spend a half-hour on paperwork.”
It should not be this difficult for patient or client!
If you are fortunate enough to get yourself an appointment, you are usually told you have limited sessions before your medical insurance starts to cause problems and you usually need to be “diagnosed” with something for your sessions to continue. Just maintaining your mental health with routine sessions is not an option unless you are prepared to pay out of pocket, which the average American cannot afford.
Mental health is such an important part of living a healthy and happy life and it is so challenging to seek help in terms of prevention. We need to fight for mental health rights and make it easier for Americans to keep their mental health in check.