Why is accessing mental health treatment so hard?

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Therapy – it’s an activity whose mere mention makes some people uncomfortable. It’s sometimes referred to as a place that only people with “problems” go to, and having problems or showing weakness is something that isn’t allowed in today’s society. It also comes with some financial costs and time restraints. 

Stigma

Stigma is harmful. It’s something that can prevent large numbers of people from doing something, simply by telling the affected people that society will judge them and look down at them for doing said task. It generates fear and prevents people from getting the help they need; this must be stopped if society is to improve. 

Another problem is that stigma primarily affects men more than women, as society has deemed that men have to appear tough and resilient their entire lives without ever needing or accepting help. This stereotype is one of the major factors that stop men from getting the mental help they need. 

Cost

As with most things with life, the issue of not getting therapy can be boiled down to its cost. Goodtherapy.org provides a rough estimate for the out-of-pocket cost of therapy, which is $100-200 a session [if the person in question doesn’t have insurance]. With insurance, that cost can drop to $50 (or even less)! However, some people’s insurance plans don’t cover mental health, or there’s a limit on how much is covered, so they have no choice but to go without. 

Not enough time

Many adults might find that they don’t have enough time to take care of their mental health; school, work, and potentially taking care of kids seem much more important. This isn’t true; not only is therapy something important that benefits those who receive it, but it’s also something that’s practically required for most people’s mental illnesses to improve and potentially go away. 

Barriers need to be removed

To sum up, there are multiple reasons why someone wouldn’t get the help they need, from a lack of available time to expensive costs, to even facing the stigma. Society should aim to remove these roadblocks since people getting the help they need is one step to having a more productive and well-rounded society.  

Available resources

Real Campus/Website

Although this article does discuss that getting help can be difficult, that doesn’t mean that it’s a hopeless endeavour. If you are struggling right now, there are options and resources available to you. Here are just a few: 

RealCampus – Visit their website (realcampus.ca), email hello@realcampus.ca, or call 1-877-390-7325 

Student Services – sjcounsellor@unb.ca 

Saint John Mobile Crisis Services: 1-888-811-3664 

CHIMO hotline (24/7): 1-800-667-5005 

Crisis Services Canada – Call 1-833-456-4566, or text “Start” to 4564 

If you are in crisis right now, please call 911.