A Mental Health Moment
By Bernadette Joy Graham, MA, LPCC, CCHt, Licensed Mental Health Therapist
The Truth Contributor
Like many of you, we undoubtedly share the feelings of how fast 2022 passed as well as the disappointments of violence, political unrest and concerns for all for not just our futures but future generations. Health care enrollment is growing and many individuals are struggling to understand Medicare parts, co-pays, deductibles and rising fees.
If you are one who has changed places of employment your healthcare coverage and company may have changed alltogether leaving you to not quite understand whether you can keep your same medical providers and overall costs or will you be seeking new providers and will all or part of your prescriptions be covered?
Those challenges of healthcare, most people will take into consideration what they have in the past….medical, dental, vision, specialists and medications. While the stigma of mental health has dropped and more mental health programs are being included and provided, many are not. Mental health is still part of your overall health and whether or not you have read past mental health topics I have covered in the past, I will again repeat how important it is to take your mental health just as seriously as your physical health.
So where do you begin? As you scour through your medical plans, whether it be Medicare, Medicaid or a plan through your employer, look for the specifics under mental health. First, does the plan you are considering or have even cover mental health and, if so, are there deductibles to be met (what you have to pay out of pocket first before the insurance will begin to pay for your mental health services, and co-pays which is another pay out of pocket issue.
Not every mental health provider takes every plan just as medical provider services and costs change. If your plan is under an employer ask human resources or the department that oversees medical coverage about mental health coverage, you would be surprised to know that many do not even include mental health. If you are under Medicare and/or Medicaid, ask the same questions as far as what is covered such as how many visits per year and if there are co-pays or deductibles.
If you find yourself in none of the above categories, you may contact various agencies to see how you can obtain mental health coverage, quality coverage where you are able to obtain the mental healthcare from individuals whom you feel comfortable. More harm can come than good if you are with a mental health provider that does not understand your culture, your lifestyle or even your specific issue such as bi-polar, major depressive disorder, grief and bereavement, gender specific issues and so forth.
Below I will list a number of resources that will get you started on this new year journey to your mental health. Just be relentless in finding mental health care, take a mental health moment and reflect on how much your life can improve, change and keep your overall health healthy. Your blood pressure numbers are just as important as your mental health state.
- If you are employed begin asking the departments as your job questions you have about inclusion as to what’s covered and costs.
- If you have Medicare/Medicaid, contact them to find out your options, if you are covered fully and how much is covered such as medications if needed.
- If you are a veteran, please contact the veteran’s outpatient treatment center in Toledo. The next closest is Ann Arbor. (419) 259-2000, Toledo center is located at 1200 South Detroit, Toledo, 43613.
- Lastly, if you don’t know where to start, contact the mental health recovery services, (419) 213-4600, so they may direct you in the right place to get your needs met.
- If you do understand your coverage and just need help in finding a mental health provider, first contact your insurance provider so that you are covered in network with providers that are contracted with that coverage. You may also contact websites such as psychologytoday.com, www.goodtherapy,org, or www.betterhelp.com
Please note this is not an exhaustive list of ways to find mental health providers but a good start. Ask your medical providers for mental health providers they would suggest. (You do not need a referral to see a mental health provider).
- If you are in a mental health crisis or know someone who may needs mental health help immediately, please call 988 or go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care.
Bernadette Graham is a Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor, and Certified Grief Recovery Specialist. She is also a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. Provide feedback or reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org For appointment information please call 419.409.4929 (Appointments available on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays in office or telehealth. You may find more information at www.bjgrahamcounseling.org Available for team building, employee empowerment in motivation and better understanding mental health in the work place. Accepting new clients ages 13 and older starting January 2023.