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Resources every mental health patient on a tight budget needs to know about

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 12 2013 2:05 p.m. MST

With every text, long distance call, tweet using #BellLetsTalk or Facebook share, 5 cents will be donated to mental health care by Canadian company Bell on Feb. 12 in order to raise awareness.

Why all the buzz? Aside from being widespread and debilitating, mental illness is expensive. Costs reached $2.5 trillion globally in 2010, according to an article by the National Institute of Mental Health. The organization projects that by 2030 that number will increase to over $6 trillion.

Seen in comparison to the entire global health spending in 2009 of $5.1 trillion, that number appears huge.

How do those with a mental illness handle these costs? Lisa Zamosky, a writer who formerly worked in health insurance, offers resources that can help save on the high costs of mental health in an article on WebMD.

Cost in billions of most expensive medical conditions in U.S

Community mental health agencies

Services are offered on a sliding scale for mental health and substance abuse. You can find out where these are through the state or county health department.

Mental Health America

This group helps to connect people to hotlines, support groups, mental health agencies around the country and self-help resources.

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Also known as SAMHSA, the organization has a mental health locator and substance abuse locator to nearby services.

Teaching hospitals

Since these are training grounds for graduate students studying mental health, you can sometimes receive lower-cost care by seeing a student. Professionals supervise them.

Psychology Today’s therapy directory

With a directory for mental health professionals in your area, this also shows therapists fees, what insurance they accept and whether they work on a sliding fee scale.

Medicare.gov’s physician compare

Medicare beneficiaries can search for a psychiatrist who accepts Medicare.

EMAIL: alovell@deseretnews.com

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