Psychiatrists and psychologists earned their nickname in the US – shrink – due in part to the high cost of mental health. But the situation is changing. There are some creative solutions out there to bring the cost down and extend access to mental health services for people in need.
Less cost more reach?
It is important to point out that cost is not the only barrier to access. Geo-economic issues that could be somehow related to access to mental health services that must be addressed as well. Markets cannot be separated from the problem; goods and services flow to the highest bidder, and in this case, mental health services found their way to the more affluent areas of the US.
Did culture also play a role in suppressing demand for mental health services in certain areas of the country? Perhaps. Nevertheless, the stigma attached to seeking help is disappearing, but the access gap is still present.
Anatomy of mental health services in the US
The following data from Mental Health America paints a picture of the mental health situation in the US in terms of access and cost:
- As many as 1 in 5 Americans has some type of mental health condition; less than half get proper treatment.
- More than 27 million adults in the U.S. are not getting the treatment they need.
- Since the start of the pandemic, the number of Americans experiencing anxiety and depression is up.
- 42% of U.S. adults reported symptoms, up from 11% in previous years, according to a December 2020 survey from the U.S. Census Bureau.
- The percentage of adults who have a mental health problems reporting unmet need for treatment, increased every year since 2011.
- In 2019, 24.7% of adults with a mental illness reported an unmet need for treatment.
- Over 60% of youth with major depression do not receive any mental health treatment.
- Even in states with the greatest access, nearly one in three are going without treatment.
- In Texas, about 75% of youth with depression did not receive mental health treatment.
- Nationally, fewer than 1 in 3 youth with severe depression receive consistent mental health care.
- Even among youth with severe depression who receive some treatment, only 27% received consistent care.
- As with any kind of health issue, there is a gap in mental health insurance coverage.
- Therefore, it is not surprising that 11.1% of Americans with a mental illness are uninsured.
- About 8.1% of children had private insurance that did not cover mental health services, totaling 950,000 youth.
- Access to care can be prohibitively expensive — even more so than physical health costs.
- An hour-long traditional therapy session can range from $65 to $250 for those without insurance.
- More than 112 million Americans live in areas where mental health providers are scarce.
- States like Missouri, Arizona, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington are among those with low rates when it comes to meeting the mental health needs of residents.
Access to mental health services has improved thanks to awareness campaigns and technology. When it comes to affordable care, technology is an especially important tool. Telehealth in particular plays a pivotal role in providing mental health services to:
- Geographically challenging areas
- Places which have a lower density of mental health professionals per capita
- People who previously could not afford to see a “shrink”
Antidote Health Mental Health Services
As a representative of this technological revolution, Antidote Health provides affordable mental health services for people of all ages. Our mental health professionals can be in touch with their patients quickly, wherever they are, through the app.
Antidote Health’s mental health professionals can help patients with a variety of conditions, such as:
- Panic Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder
Our doctors are available 24/7 to help you and the monthly subscription rates are lower than a single visit to your local psychologist. The best part is that you can lie on your own couch, in the comfort of your own home, and let your doctor help you.