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Financial Burdens of Mental Health and Addiction Treatment

Not only is it difficult to make the decision to enter a mental health or addiction treatment program, but the financial aspects of seeking care can cause some roadblocks for a large number of individuals. Even for those who have mental health insurance coverage, it can be a daunting task to determine how you are going to pay for a mental health treatment program.

How are you going to pay for mental health or addiction treatment? For many, it's tough, but there is help to pay for mental health services. Find out how.Due to a lack of financial resources, many individuals are unable to receive the treatment that they desperately need. Some individuals may not have health insurance coverage, or if they do have insurance, the amount that is owed by the patient is too much for them to be able to afford. Many treatment programs can cost thousands of dollars per month, which can cause a significant amount of anxiety about the whole treatment process. More often than not, the financial responsibility of mental health care is the main reason many do not seek out professional help. However, the financial aspects of a recovery program should not prevent you from getting the help that you need.


Treatment Program: Lauren Hardy M.A., writes on the behalf of Timberline Knolls, which is a residential treatment center for women that focuses on healing the entire self by addressing each woman’s physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and social needs.


Planning For Mental Health or Addiction Care

There are many different mental health treatment options available across the country, however some programs are better equipped than others for the treatment of specific disorders. (Different Alcohol Treatment Programs Work for Different People) Once you have identified the most appropriate mental health or addiction treatment centers for your specific needs, you need to sit down and determine how you are going to pay for your care. The first step is to call the treatment provider of your choice to determine how much it is going to cost and what types of payments are accepted. If you have health insurance, check with your provider about the details surrounding mental health treatment. Many health insurance companies offer coverage for a number of mental health services, including inpatient or residential programs. Your insurance company will be able to provide you with information regarding the number of treatments that are covered each year and the amount of your co-pay. They will also be able to provide you with a list of mental health care providers that accept your form of insurance, which can aid you in choosing a treatment center.

If your insurance does not provide mental health coverage, or if you do not have health insurance, you can apply for payment assistance. Many treatment centers provide payment assistance based on income and some centers operate on a sliding scale basis. Some families may be eligible to receive private addiction or mental health treatment financing, which will not remove the cost of care, but can help make getting treatment more manageable.

Financial Resources

Many individuals are unaware that there is mental health and addiction support available from the community and other resources for those who are unable to pay for their mental healthcare. (Where to Get Mental Health Help) Advocacy groups, government groups, and non-profit organizations all often provide a number of healthcare services for little to no cost to the patient. Some of the available resources can include:

  • Community-based: There are many communities that have community mental health centers that offer a range of counseling services at a reduced rate or free of charge for those with lower incomes.
  • School-based: Most colleges and universities provide counseling services on campus that are often free to students.
  • Religious institutions: Your religious institution may provide counseling services from trained pastoral counselors. Additionally, a clergy member may be able to offer their support, but they are usually not mental health professionals.
  • Self-help groups: These groups are made up of individuals who have similar mental health issues and come together to help each other manage and recover from their problems.
  • Hotlines: There are a number of mental health hotlines that are associated with specific topics and concerns. Numbers for hotlines can be easily accessed on the internet.

If you are struggling with a mental health illness or substance abuse, but are faced with financial difficulty, look into as many of these resources as you can for help. Mental health disorders can cause a significant amount of negative consequences in the lives of those who do not get treated. This is why it is extremely important to get the professional help that you need. Nothing should stand in the way of you building a better future for yourself.

You can also find Lauren Hardy on Google+.

5 thoughts on “Financial Burdens of Mental Health and Addiction Treatment”

  1. I have some information that might be helpful. The only thing that I have seen change when it comes to treatment centers are that some of them accept health insurance including Tri-Care. And if anyone knows Tri-Care they are going to be the last to pay. I have been doing this for 20 years for free (pro bono) and my mother who’s an RN assists me when needed. For some reason getting costs covered for addictions is a lot easier than eating disorders, etc. You have look at everything and make a list of Pro & Cons, ask questions, etc. If I can help anyone, please let me know. Best wishes. Erika

  2. My daughter was severely traumatized by her father and began to disclose at the age of two and a half. At that time, I was able to keep her in therapy for 1-2 years, which was very helpful. Although, we exhausted all legal means (over 4 years of litigation) to keep her safe,the abuse has been ongoing. She is now 24 and suffers from untreated complex PTSD and/or DID, as well as substance and alcohol addiction. Her abuser (father) is still very much a part of her life. Although, she has periodically sought help, he has managed to quickly end any therapy. Currently, it is hard to see where he stops and she begins. She was recently charged with a felony and is incarcerated, awaiting trial. All this aside, if treatment can somehow be included as a part of her sentence, I’d like to have information on possible dual treatment facilities, certified, licensed and recognized for their work with trauma victims. I am, disabled and on a fixed income. My daughter has not been able to work for several years and is no longer able to care for herself. Can you inform me of possible resources to pursue for (treatment) financial assistance? She was approved for “lifetime” victims compensation assistance which I believe ended when she turned 18. Thank you.

  3. I have an adult daughter who desperately wants treatment and needs inpatient care for co-ocurring mental illness and subsequent drug addiction. She has no insurance and can’t even keep a job. I live paycheck to paycheck and I’m struggling very hard to keep my home and provide a decent life for my other (minor) daughter. What kind options does my adult daughter have? I feel it is only a matter of time before she ends her life out of desperation and lack of services appropriate to her serious mental illness. And I don’t know what to do.

  4. I’m not financial expert, but everything in this word has got one’s own price. So, mental health care has got also peculiar visible and non-visible financial charge; direct and indirect expenditure. As to belong to arrangement of mental health security, with many financial burdens, it might to say that these administrative impediments indicate numerous non-humane and restrictive measures. Mental health service should be accessible, continuous, systematic and obligatory activity, in whichever community. Fragmentary and ad-hoc mental care system would be of temporary and of mutilated character. Mental health statement isn’t only personal difficulty, it is universal social problem in current society, with many conflicts and disagreements, as well. The main reason for these interpersonal divergence is our eclipse mind, which one seek adequate and integral psychiatric treatment and management. Improvisations on mental health care due to official national sentences are in collision with nature of mental health pathology. Additional mental health resources, that you mention are useful, but they cannot provide satisfying and comprehensive mental health care. Mental health care is complex and multidimensional psychiatric approaching, which one forbid any restriction and wants of psychosocial providence. If we as homo sapiens continue to ignore these postulate of mental health service, then our global perspective would be more obscure, with fatal repercussion on our welfare.

    1. I am sorry to hear that you are going through such a difficult time. I have compiled a list of resources that may hopefully be of some help.

      Hotlines: If your loved one is feeling like they want to harm themselves or is feeling suicidal here are some hotline numbers you can call for help:

      1-800-273-8255
      1-800-784-2433
      1-800-799-4889

      There is also 24 hour email support for those who are feeling suicidal which you may find at this website: http://www.suicide.org/suicide-email-support.html

      Finding a Therapist or Mental Health Center: Here are some resources you can refer to in order to help you find a therapist or mental health center.

      • The Partnership for Prescription Assistance has a free clinic finder and if you type in your zip code you can find clinics in your area:
      http://www.pparx.org/en/prescription_assistance_programs/free_clinic_finder

      • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources also has a listing of free clinics in your area. All you have to do
      is plug in your geographic location:
      http://www.pparx.org/en/prescription_assistance_programs/free_clinic_finder

      • The National Alliance on Mental Illness may also provide information of where to find treatment or mental health care
      in your area. You may call them toll free at 1-800-950-NAMI or contact them through their web site:
      http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?section=Find_Support

      • Here are additional list of free clinics to search for in your geographic area:
      http://www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,1607,7-132-2943_52115-203750–,00.html

      • You may also be able to find a Community Mental Health Center at this site:
      http://www.wheretofindcare.com/Find/1901/CommunityMentalHealthCenters.aspx

      Mental Health Resources: There are a number of mental health resources that can give you even more ideas and suggestions of how to obtain treatment, therapy, or medications when you do not have insurance or have no money to pay for services:
      • The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance:
      http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=peer_landing

      • The National Alliance on Mental Illness:
      http://www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Find_Support/Consumer_Support/Consumer_Support.htm

      • Befrienders World Wide:
      http://www.healthcentral.com/common/frame.html?url=http://www.befrienders.org/

      • Psych Central Support Groups:
      http://www.healthcentral.com/common/frame.html?url=http://psychcentral.com/resources/Depression/Support_Groups/

      Additional Informational Resources: Finally, here are some additional informational articles that may provide you with some useful information.
      • A Consumer’s Guide to Mental Health Services
      http://www.healthcentral.com/common/frame.html?url=http://psychcentral.com/resources/Depression/Support_Groups/

      • CNN Health presents: “No Health Insurance? Get Help Here.”
      http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/02/12/ep.health.insurance.help/index.html

      • US News and World Report tells you six ways to get affordable mental health services
      http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/on-health-and-money/2009/04/15/6-ways-to-get-affordable-mental-health-services

      • The Daily Kos tells you how to get free or low cost mental health care
      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/02/15/302250/-Where-can-you-get-low-cost-free-Mental-Health-Care-Health-Care-Thursday

      • About.com also shares ways of how to find free treatment for depression
      http://depression.about.com/cs/findadoc/a/freelowcosttx.htm

      Thank you for your responses and please feel free to leave any other comments or questions that you may have.

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