Welcome to December. This month we will be exploring the interconnectedness of Mental Health & Money.
Happy Holidays, everyone.
I’m usually not one to get excited about Christmas, but this year I am in the spirit.
I just finished the book Group: How One Therapist And a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life. I highly recommend it. It’s real, raw, and eye-opening. I am now determined to find my own group of misfits to go through life together. And I would like to find a way to do it free of charge, though. $850 per month for therapy is…steep.
In the same beat, can you really put a price on saving your own life?
It got me thinking…
Why is therapy so expensive? And not only expensive, but why is it so unattainable?
Therapy is expensive for a multitude of reasons, the main one being that you’re paying for licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, and mental health professionals’ many years of hard work and expertise.
A common misconception is that therapy is reserved for lonely, rich white women who are trying to fill their time with something useful. When in reality, I believe therapy to be a necessary resource for everyone.
But sadly, that bored housewife misconception isn’t completely farfetched because therapy is expensive.
My question is…
How realistic is it for the average person to willingly shovel out hundreds of dollars per month on improving their mental health?
I guess it boils down to what you value in your life.
We spend $150 on Lululemon workout leggings to improve our physical health. We spend $50 on wine nights out (or in) with girlfriends to sustain our social health. Why do we hesitate to spend $125 to improve our mental health?
There are too many reasons to name — we simply cannot afford it, or we can’t justify the cost. We’re afraid of feeling. We’re not comfortable unloading our secrets to a stranger.
Whatever the case is, my argument lies in why therapy is still viewed as a meaningless luxury instead of a mandatory type of healthcare.
In today’s world, as more people begin to open up about their mental health struggles, the simple act of expressing how we feel is becoming more normalized. This is a great thing.
We have a plethora of free mental health resources at our fingertips — books and podcasts and webinars and hotlines. But nothing replaces the face-to-face interaction of therapist to patient that opens up the dialogue for a valuable, perhaps life-altering, conversation.
I don’t understand why some people have the option to get better and others don’t.
If therapy was viewed as a routine part of healthcare, would more people take it seriously?
Do you want to give therapy a whirl, but are holding back because of the cost?
Do you value your mental health the same way you value your physical health?
Will therapy ever be available to all?
If therapy was first de-stigmatized, and second, readily available to everyone, maybe we would have less alcoholics in the world, less drunk drivers on the road. Maybe we would have less cases of domestic abuse, suicide and child neglect.
Maybe we shouldn’t even be separating mental health from physical health. Maybe it should just be called HEALTH — the mental, physical, emotional, and social aspects implied.
We all want the same thing in life. To get better, to feel better, to be better, to do better. We can’t expect that to happen if we don’t help ourselves. And we definitely can’t help anyone else until we help ourselves first.
Thank you for reading today. I realize today’s post was a little heavy. We’ll lighten it back up next week. Have a fabulous day!