Insurance coverage is often seen as something of a holy grail. Insurance coverage can prompt someone to take a job, stay in a relationship, or even turn down a dream position. Why? Medical care in virtually every form is expensive, and insurance helps defray a substantial amount of medical expenses. Nevertheless, plenty of people are forced to make do with their health in the absence of insurance, and are able to maintain a consistent bill of clean mental health.
How do you manage your mental health without insurance?
Step One: Attend to Financial Health
Your financial health will play a huge role in determining how effectively you are able to manage your mental health in the absence of insurance coverage. Financial health will help manage your mental health, because financial health will make it far easier for you to attend to mental health emergencies, or pay for medication that may be necessary, even without insurance.
To adequately care for your financial health, you should work toward creating an emergency fund, a consistent weekly and monthly budget, and even some investments, if possible, in order to make sure that a single emergency does not render you destitute. This process will likely take time, so make small goals and rejoice in small successes.
Step Two: Practice Self-Care—Often
Mental health often experiences a nosedive in response to a lack of care in other areas of your life. To successfully manage your mental health without insurance, you must attend to your health as a whole. Eating healthy foods, getting plenty of sleep, and exercising regularly can all contribute significantly to the maintenance of mental health. Although self-care is often associated with bubble baths and other seemingly frivolous ways of enjoying yourself, it is far more often a matter of taking care of yourself properly.
Self care can also mean paying close attention to any and all symptoms of emerging mental health issues. You can take stock of any and all symptoms from past knowledge of emerging symptoms, or you can use online questionnaires, such as this https://www.mind-diagnostics.org/schizophrenia-test/.
Step Three: Take Advantage of Free or Low-Cost Services
Mental health organizations often provide free or low-cost services for people in need of help. From hotlines for people in dire need, to small, local clinics that offer temporary counseling services, many organizations dedicated to mental health are driving the fight against untreated mental illness and disorders. Some clinics will offer therapy services on a sliding scale, which means that they will provide services based on your ability to pay for them. Some sliding-scale clinics offer therapy for as little as $30 per hour, while others will have slightly higher rates, starting at $50-$60 per hour.
Step Four: Recognize Emergencies
It is vital that you develop the ability to recognize the presence of an emergency with regard to your mental health. Emergencies can require an immediate visit to an emergency room, or may necessitate an emergency visit to a dedicated mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist. These professionals are better able to diagnose and assist with mental health emergencies, and may be able to provide long-term treatment plans that you can carry out with minimal supervision.
Coping With Mental Illness Without Insurance
While it can be challenging to tackle mental health needs without insurance coverage, it certainly is not impossible. With plenty of planning and foresight, it is possible to not only survive with mental illness without insurance, but to actually thrive. With a healthy dose of financial planning, self evaluation, and free or low-cost services, your mental health does not have to suffer the effects of living without adequate insurance coverage.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with Mind-Diagnostics.org. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.