Article by Rian Razo, MA
Imagine this. You haven’t been feeling like yourself for a while now. Days go by and you notice you have been feeling more anxious and stressed. You recently lost your job due to company cutbacks and have lost your insurance. Your family has noticed that you have been irritable and appear more sad than usual. Overwhelmed with looking for a job and supporting your family, you realize you could use some extra support and try looking for a therapist. Upon looking for a therapist, you notice that the closest therapist is 45 minutes away and, though they offer out-of-pocket services, it is out of your price range. What do you do?
The World’s Heath Organization notes the following:
“In 2019, nearly a billion people – including 14% of the world’s adolescents – were living with a mental disorder. Suicide accounted for more than 1 in 100 deaths and 58% of suicides occurred before age 50. Mental disorders are the leading cause of disability, causing 1 in 6 years lived with disability… Social and economic inequalities, public health emergencies, war, and the climate crisis are among the global, structural threats to mental health. Depression and anxiety went up by more than 25% in the first year of the pandemic alone.”
It’s obvious there is a growing need for mental health services. On top of increasing the quantity of mental health services, there needs to be greater accessibility for those services. Gaps in community services were identified in two recent community assessments conducted by Platte Valley Medical Center. Mental health and substance abuse care were the top two areas of concern from the assessments.
The Colorado Health Institute Access Survey completed in 2021, reported that half a million Coloradans are not getting the mental health care that is needed and the biggest barrier to accessing those services was cost. 43% of those polled didn’t think their insurance would cover services. Many were unable to find providers. Social Solutions also identified social stigma of mental health treatment and conditions, limited availability of mental health education and awareness, and racial barriers to mental health care access and treatment as barriers to accessibility.
If you have been or know someone that has been in the situation mentioned above with trying to gain access to a therapist but ran into barriers involving cost, geography, and being uninsured, perhaps you might take an interest into learning more about our mission here at Pennock Center for Counseling. Pennock Center for Counseling has been dedicated to providing compassionate mental health services regardless of income, religious affiliation of life situation. Help us on our mission in making mental health services accessible by breaking down these barriers! Please consider a recurring donation through our Compassion Circle Giving Club and attending our Healing Hearts Benefit fundraiser on March 18th. Together, we can make a difference.