With the new year, we can all put 2020 behind us and hope for better days ahead. Yet the reality is that the everyday strains and pressures of life don’t disappear just because we turned a page on the calendar.
Sure this past year was much harder on many of us than usual, but even before the pandemic and political chaos of the past several months, stress has always been a regular part of modern life.
In our story from a few weeks ago, Anxiety is Almost Unavoidable These Days, we discussed how current events have pushed many of us to the edges of our stress limits. We also looked at why it is not only OK to seek help dealing with it, it is sometimes a necessity.
So now we would like to continue by exploring some options for obtaining that help without going broke. There is no doubt that therapy can be expensive, but there are often options available that can significantly reduce that cost and lighten the load.
In fact, it may very well be possible to find a qualified professional, such as a counselor or therapist, at no cost at all. Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities that we discovered in this excellent article from BetterHelp.com.
In fact, online just might be the best place to start. You may find books that can be helpful, or there are some websites that offer varying degrees of free counseling.
However, if you feel that this is not enough, the first place to start is by checking your health insurance, along with your primary care physician. Your doctor should be able to recommend some treatment plans and your policy may very well cover most of the costs other than copays and prescriptions.
That certainly makes a big difference, but sometimes even those expenses are too much. There are also some insurance plans that do not cover mental health treatment at all.
In that case, it is imperative to seek out other options. One alternative is to look for free or low-cost programs aimed to help people in need of financial assistance. These may depend on where you live and usually they are also dependent on meeting certain income requirements. Still, this is definitely something worth checking out.
If there are no programs like this near you, don’t give up, there may be other alternatives. It is a good idea to check with your local Social Services. They will be familiar with all of the community resources in your area and can also help with some of the additional problems that may arise during a crisis such as child care and assistance paying bills. They might even be able to help with finding a job.
Your place of worship can be another good place to ask about assistance. While they may not be a doctor, most clergy have experience in counseling and are also likely to know of possible treatment programs nearby.
So please, do not try to face severe anxiety or stress alone. Ask family or friends and we are sure you will find, as we did, that many people are going through similar circumstances and help is available.
But you have to take that first step and ask.
David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com