New survey finds cost remains barrier to what many consider essential care
NEW YORK, May 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey from Verywell Mind, one of the largest mental health sites, found that financial concerns and cost cause significant hurdles for those in therapy, and often result in delayed care or discontinuation of treatment.
For Mental Health Awareness Month this May, Verywell Mind's Cost of Therapy Survey asked 1,000 Americans currently in therapy how they pay for their therapy treatment, what other financial burdens they take on in order to be able to access therapy, and how they have managed paying for mental health services relative to other financial priorities. The results show that while many Americans see therapy as a good investment, cost remains a significant concern, even to those who can afford it.
Some of Verywell Mind's most important findings include:
- 49% of Americans currently in therapy say they're worried about paying for their treatment long-term
- 48% say they'd have to stop attending sessions if their out-of-pocket costs increase
- 38% have had to receive financial help from someone else in order to pay for therapy
- 38% used vacation or paid time off work to attend therapy
- Over 1 in 3 (37%) of those who used to be in therapy say they stopped because of cost-related reasons
For about one third of Americans currently in therapy, the cost of therapy has affected session frequency and attendance:
- 39% have reduced the frequency of therapy sessions to reduce costs
- 33% have canceled therapy sessions due to out-of-pocket costs
- 31% have temporarily stopped going to therapy because they need to save money for a larger expense
In addition to paying session fees, many therapy-goers also have to factor in other costs, such as childcare or commuting in order to attend therapy:
- 31% pay for child or adult/elder care
- 69% have to commute in order to attend therapy sessions
- 48% drive themselves to therapy appointments
Despite these persistent financial challenges, only 1 in 3 Americans in therapy have ever negotiated their fee with their mental health provider, and only half are aware of sliding scales:
- 64% of Americans currently in therapy say they've never negotiated their fee with a provider
- 44% of Americans in therapy have never heard of "sliding scale" payments for mental health services
"The cost of mental health services is a big hurdle that causes many people to delay treatment or stop treatment prematurely," said Amy Morin, LCSW, editor-in-chief of Verywell Mind. "Addressing the direct and indirect costs of treatment, especially for the most vulnerable in our society, will bring us one step closer to care that's truly equitable for all."
Click here to view Verywell Mind's Cost of Therapy Survey.
The Verywell family of brands, including Verywell Health, Verywell Mind, Verywell Fit, and Verywell Family, take a human approach to health content, through thousands of expert-written, medically-reviewed articles across hundreds of topics. More than 38 million people visit the award-winning Verywell sites each month to answer their most pressing health, wellness, and parenting questions, and receive trustworthy information needed to make important health decisions. Verywell is part of the Dotdash Meredith publishing family.