In a comprehensive analysis done by the Cohen Veterans Network (CVN) and the National Council for Behavioral Health, more than 5,000 Americans were surveyed on attitudes towards mental healthcare as well as access to services.
They found that on average, only 56% of Americans ended up seeking mental health services. Barriers to access, when asked, included the following elements:
1) High cost and/or insufficient insurance coverage: According to the report, 42% of those surveyed saw this as the biggest barrier. This includes things like high self-pay rates, high co-pays when using insurance, and some insurance plans requiring the deductible be met before paying for mental health services.
2) Limited options and long waits: 38% of Americans engaging in services report having to wait longer than one week for their first appointment, sometimes longer. Also, 46% of respondents stated either they or someone they know drive over 1 hour to seek services.
3) Lack of awareness: 29% wanted to but did not seek treatment for loved ones due to not knowing where to start or who to contact. 21% never sought professional help due to factors outside of their control.
4) Social stigma: 31% worried about others judging them or looking down on them for seeking out mental health services. 21% actively avoided telling others they were engaging in mental health services.
A few things ring true here: more Americans would like to seek out services, but a multitude of factors prevent them from doing so.
Here at Sigma Centrum Counseling, we actively aim to remove these barriers:
1) Sliding Scale and Open Path: We work on a generous sliding scale that helps make our services more affordable for our clients. We also participate in Open Path, a directory devoted to clinicians who are willing to see clients at a low cost to increase access.
2) Timely Appointments and Central Location: Most all clients who schedule are able to get their first appointment within a week. We are also located centrally for the area: we can easily service Naples, Bonita Springs, Marco Island, and Ft. Myers areas.
3) First Consultation and Resources: We love it when prospective clients get in touch with us and ask about our process. Even if we don't appear to be a good fit for you, we have resources that we are more than welcome to discuss with you. Knowledge is key in finding the right provider for you.
4) Advocacy and Advancement: We actively encourage discussing mental health and seeking out services when appropriate. The more we get people comfortable talking, the easier time people have reaching out and asking for help.
Inability to access mental health services damages everyone, and we pride ourselves in our resolve to help lower the barrier to entry as best we can. Feel free to contact us today.