What to do if you can't afford psychiatric services

Working for the state government, I have above average health insurance. Even still, the coverage when it comes to my mental health kind of sucks.

My psychiatrist stopped accepting my insurance about a year ago. Frantically, I called every counseling office around, trying to find a doctor who accepted my insurance. But everyone within a 50-mile radius either a) didn't accept my insurance or b) wasn't taking new patients.

Knowing I couldn't just go off my meds, I kept going to see my psychiatrist at $75 for every 15-minute office session. Thankfully for me, my doctor agreed that, since I was paying out of pocket for his services, he would start seeing me every six months for my refills.

And I know I'm one of the lucky ones. But when even I - with my government job - can't get my psychiatrist appointments covered, what does that mean for the majority of the population? And what does that mean for people who need to see a psychiatrist or counselor once a month or even once a week? Or those who need psychiatric hospitalization? They are either going without the treatment they need or they are sacrificing other necessities to pay for it.

But, just like any other disease, mental illness can kill you without treatment. According to Suicide.org, untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide. But what are you supposed to do if you just can't afford it?!

Here are some possible options:

For more resources, visit http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/paying-care. For more information about prescription assistance, visit https://www.needymeds.org/pap.

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