Healthcare is one of the highest expenses most people will incur during their lifetimes. The high cost of healthcare has driven many to worry about how they can afford to pay for it, causing some to ignore their mental and physical health problems.
This July, our articles have focused on the definition of a trauma healthcare team and how forming one can aid in your healing from complex trauma. In piece four, we shall spend our time together exploring the costs involved in having a trauma team and ways you can pay for it.
A Reflection on What Constitutes a Trauma Team
Treatment teams are made of various types of people in a multitude of disciplines, such as medical and mental health personnel, who form a treatment team to aid in your healing. A treatment plan is a document that outlines the proposed plan, goals, and length you will spend in the trauma team’s care. The treatment plan directs your treatment team’s steps for you to be successful in healing.
Your trauma treatment team may include:
Mental health nurses
Mental health and rehabilitation workers
The team may reach outside of psychiatry as well, with other disciplines becoming involved such as physicians, gynecologists, optometrists, or any other patient caregiver. Your team may include some outside-of-the-box members as well, such as EMDR therapists and holistic healers.
The Costs of Getting Good Mental Health Care
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 1 in 5 Americans live with some form of mental health condition. This statistic rises to 1 in 4 in people aged 18-25. However, the number of citizens of the United States may be much higher as many people choose to keep silent about their mental health because of the stigma often attached to admitting to having problems.
People who have trauma-centric conditions might also shy away from getting help because of the costs involved.
People living with a mental health condition in the US spend 5.5% of their money on health in general and on average $287/month on things that directly affect their mental health such as medications (This figure is very conservative as medications can run into the thousands).
There are indirect costs involved in keeping one mentally healthy or healing trauma, including medical bills, gym memberships, and exercise gear that can add up to $103 per month.
In total, with direct and indirect costs, one can spend upwards of $471 or more per month.
Therapy can cost you $150 per session or more, with 3 in 5 Americans saying if it were cheaper, they would be more likely to attend sessions to improve their mental health.
We have discussed in prior posts the topic of the people who should be on your trauma team and how the plan they make can aid in your healing. Paying for their services becomes vital when you consider how much pain complex trauma causes in your life.
Paying for Your Mental Health Team
The first thing to overcome trauma is to admit to yourself that you need help. Not only do you need the aid of a therapist and a trauma team, but you also need to ask for financial help to pay for their services.
Below we shall discover three assistance finders to aid you in paying for your trauma team so that you can heal from complex post-traumatic stress disorder.
Government assistance. Many people balk at the idea of getting government assistance to pay for their mental health needs. Yet, government assistance is a critical and vital link to getting your trauma team paid. In the United States, there are many government programs to help you pay for your mental health services depending on your eligibility and need. Below are just a few of these programs.
Community health centers. These health centers offer primary care services usually to underserved locations where getting mental health care is difficult. Services are offered on a sliding fee scale that depends on your ability to pay.
Medicaid covers mandatory eligibility groups such as low-income families. Medicaid is a state and federal government-funded program for people who cannot afford traditional insurance. Children account for more than 43% of all Medicaid enrollees, followed by the elderly and people with disabilities.
Medicare is a program designed to help the elderly and disabled pay for their medical and mental health care. Medicare is split up into four parts, A, B, C, and D. Part A covers inpatient treatment, and for many, there is no premium. There are premiums for parts B, C, and D unless you are low-income. Medicare does not pay for everything such as podiatry, dental, or vision care, or some other disciplines that may be on your treatment team.
gov. While this website does not pay directly for mental health services, it offers lots of resources to people who are struggling with paying for their mental health care. The website also offers guidance for participating in clinical trials.
Nonprofit Help. Several nonprofit organizations offer financial assistance for mental health services. One nonprofit that may help is the
American Psychoanalytic Association. This organization offers low-fee clinics for mental health care for people with low incomes. Sometimes clinics and hospitals are nonprofit and offer programs to pay any new charges you may incur and write off outstanding balances.
Sliding-scale Therapists. Finding a therapist who works on a sliding scale sounds daunting, and it can be just that. However, many mental health providers offer financial assistance, and below are a few ways to find them.
This organization keeps an updated database of sliding-scale clinics for those without sufficient insurance or who have none.
Good Therapy. This group is another resource to find the right therapist or other mental health providers for you. You can search for a therapist by location as well as what they treat.
Psychology Today. This website maintains a find-a-therapist page that is full of licensed mental health professionals. You can search throughout the United States for low-cost and sliding scale providers.
There are many more organizations and methods to get help paying for your trauma team. You can contact the United Way in your area for a list of providers or search for grants to pay in part what you owe.
Actions You Can Take to Remain Emotionally Healthy
Getting assistance for the payment of your mental health trauma team takes time. There is finding the assistance, applying for it, and then waiting for the answer. In the meantime, you will need to find ways to maintain your mental health while you wait.
According to the toolkit, there are many ways to improve or maintain your emotional health while you go through the process of finding funding and after.
Express your feelings in appropriate ways. Allow people near your heart to know when something is bothering you, and do not keep them pent up inside. Keeping feelings of sadness or anger bottled up inside adds to the stress that can cause problems in your relationships and at work.
Be aware of your emotional reactions. Take notice when life makes you frustrated, angry, or sad and try to address your emotions or change your life circumstances that are causing the problem.
Manage stress. Set your mind to learning relaxation methods to cope with life’s stressors. These methods could include meditation, exercise, or deep breathing.
Think before you act. Try always to give yourself time to think and calm down before you say or do something in reaction to a stressor. This will save on regrets later.
Attempt balance. Find a healthy balance between work and play, activity, and rest. Be sure to make time to do the things you enjoy and focus on the positive things in your life.
Connect with others. All humans need to feel connected with other people. Connect with others through groups, individually, or say hello to someone you don’t know.
Find your purpose and meaning. Decide what is the most important in your life and focus on them. You will find you have more meaning and purpose in work, family, and self-care than you thought you had before. Spend your time doing what means a lot to you.
Strive to remain positive. Focus on the good things in your life and forgive yourself for any mess-ups you have made. Forgive others and spend time with healthy and positive people.
As mentioned, doing the above advice will help you search for aid in paying for your mental health needs. However, these tips are also for anyone to maintain their mental health.
In Closing Our Time Together
One cannot stress enough the vital importance of forming and following the lead of a mental health trauma team. The plans they form can lead you to heal faster and easier than would have been possible without them.
Paying for mental health services can be daunting and holds many people back from receiving the care they deserve and need. There are organizations, both nonprofit and government, that can help pay for the costs associated with mental health care.
Please, do not hesitate to reach out to CPTSD Foundation if you need help finding a therapist. We have formed a list of providers who can assist you in your healing journey. Simply go to our contact page and tell us you need help.
Make sure and be proactive in your approach to finding funds to pay for your care. Do a Google search of your own or utilize the information we have provided in this article.
Above all else, never give up.
“I’m a fighter. I’m a survivor, and I’ll get through anything people can throw at me.” ~ John Daly
“I see myself as a survivor, and I’m not ashamed to say I’m a survivor. To me, survivor implies strength, implies that I have been through something, and I made it out the other side.” ~ Elizabeth Smart