I can’t help but mention this article in The New York Times about how to get mental health care when you have no insurance or for some reason your have minimal coverage for mental health concerns with your current health insurance (which should change come January 1, 2010 when the federal mental health parity law kicks in). In the article, Lesley Alderman “offer[s] advice for those without insurance, or with only minimal coverage, on how to find low-cost mental health care.”

The solutions should be familiar to our regular readers — self-help techniques (most of which you can find online; but you can also find them in self-help books, freely available at your local library); self-help support groups (such as the ones we host here at Psych Central); an employee assistance program, or EAP (if you still have some connection with a job); and a host of ways of seeing professionals at reduced costs out-of-pocket.

For instance, in some communities, there are community mental health centers that will see you for a mental health concern on a sliding scale fee — the fee is based upon how much money you make. If you’re making $0, they will still ask for a small amount (usually $10 to $20 per session). If your mental health concerns are affecting your ability to work or live your life, this is money well spent. Some private therapists also will see clients on a sliding scale, but their fees usually won’t go as low as a community mental health center’s.

There are also other great tips in the article, and yours truly is quoted in it, so it can’t hurt to check it out! :) We also covered this topic two years ago, Finding Low-Cost Psychotherapy, so you may also want to read our take on it.

Read the full article: Patient Money – How to Find Mental Health Care When Money Is Tight.