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Overcoming Barriers to Mental Healthcare



If you suffer from a mental illness, you probably already know that getting therapy is one of the most important steps you can take for healing. But what if you can't find a therapist? Or, if you feel like the therapist assigned to you isn't a good fit?


You may encounter difficulties with finding a therapist, as I did. In some instances, this is because you need to find a therapist that both specializes in treating your condition and accepts your insurance. In other instances, it is because of where you live, or long waits to get access to therapy.


According to Adracare, some of the top barriers in accessing mental healthcare are:


  1. Financial Barriers 

  2. Wait Times

  3. Accessibility


If you are struggling with one of these issues, there are several different possible solutions that can help you.


Since financial barriers are the top reason why people don't have access to mental healthcare, I have outlined some mental health resources for if you don't have insurance. It may be more difficult to find a provider without insurance, but it is possible, so don't give up!


When it comes to issues of wait times and accessability, you may want to consider online therapy instead of going to a traditional, in-person session. According to Adracare, some of the benefits of online therapy are:


  • Treatments can be accessed anywhere at any time

  • Little-to-no waiting lists/wait times 

  • Real-time communication with the physician

  • Reduced disruption to work and personal schedules

  • Not having to travel or arrange transportation

  • Freedom to speak with the physician from the privacy of their own home


By accessing mental health services online, there will be a wider pool of therapists for you to choose from. That means, you should be able to get services faster, as well as being able to find someone who specializes in the area of expertiese that will meet your needs.


During the pandemic, I was able to use online therapy myself, and I fould it to be more convenient than going to an office visit. I was able take less time off work for my appointments, since I could schedule them over my lunch break, and there was no transportation time.


You can interact with your therapist similarly to how you would in the office, and a video call still allows you to build trust and rapport with the therapist. I found it comforting to be able to make my calls at home, so that I could be in an environmemt where I was safe and comfortable. This can be especially helpful if you have anxiety about new places.


If you aren't able to connect with a therapist currently, you could alternatively consult with a support group or a life coach. This may not fully meet your needs if you have a mental health condition that requires medication. However, working with a support group or a life coach allows you to have someone in your corner rooting for you. They can also be helpful if your condition is less severe and doesn't require medication.


According to Mind UK,

Getting help can feel like a mammoth task at the beginning and it's very easy to feel disheartened if the outcome isn't what you'd hoped for. But there is always somewhere else you can get help and the majority of people working and volunteering in mental health do genuinely care about helping you get the support you need for your recovery.

Although it may be difficult to find support for your mental health, please know how important it is to keep trying. Taking care of your mental health and wellbeing is key to living a happy and healthy life, and there is healing possible, no matter how badly you may be feeling at the moment.


If you are contemplating suicide, you can reach the National Suicide Helpline by calling 988 24/7.


For suicide hotlines outside the United States, and additional resources for support, you can check out these Resources. Feel free to browse the website for other mental health support topics under the Health & Wellness category. Mental Healthcare is Healthcare, and everyone deserves fair access!



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