Barriers to mental health treatment: Addressing concerns

Reviewed by:
March 19, 2020

At Talkiatry, we provide mental health treatment because we believe that it is a vital aspect of overall health. However, we understand that many people may experience barriers to mental health treatment or have misconceptions about it. Providers have heard a few different concerns and questions from patients or their families about why they may be hesitant about getting the help they need. We’ll address some of those concerns here. 

“Mental health treatment can’t help me” 

You would not believe how many different treatment modalities and professionals are available. Chances are, we can find a therapy, group, medication, or clinician that will help you. Each individual is unique and there is no perfect “one size fits all” treatment for any person or diagnosis. Given that, your treatment is tailored to you and your specific needs. You can collaborate with your provider to find a treatment plan that's right for you. 

“Once I start mental health treatment, I’ll be in it for the rest of my life”

You’ve probably heard something along the lines of people seeing the same therapist for 20 years, but that is actually not the norm in mental health treatment. Many people seek treatment for episodes of anxiety or depression that are effectively managed with treatment that is considered to be more brief. Typically, this treatment takes place over a period of months. However, here are some diagnoses that are considered chronic and require monitoring for extended periods of time. For instance, schizophrenia would need to me monitored by an outpatient team long term. Generally, the earlier any patient is able to receive mental health treatment, the better the prognosis, no matter what condition you’re seeking treatment for.

“Will a mental health diagnosis follow me in my permanent record”?

Your medical records are protected by HIPPA and can only be used for billing and insurance purposes, and a person outside of that situation only has access to your records and your personal health information if you give them access. There is no universal health record that follows you everywhere you go. 

“My doctor will make me take medication”

If you choose to enter mental health treatment as an outpatient, no one can force you to accept treatment you don't want. Your provider will make recommendations and those might include an option for medications. Understandably, you might have concerns about accepting a prescription for medication. It's important to make sure you discuss this with your provider, because your treatment is a two way street!

“I can’t afford it”

This is a very important barrier to mental health treatment and something to consider closely. Of course, it may be true that you have financial difficulties. There are resources that you should take into account before you decide you can’t afford mental health treatment, including insurance. The easiest way to figure out which provider will accept your insurance, is to get a list directly from your insurance. If you don’t have insurance, you could decide to private pay a clinician. Though, like most all other things that involve fees, the fee could be negotiable depending on your personal circumstance. If you need more guidance on how to start the process of finding a provider that takes your insurance, click here

“I don’t have time”

This barrier to mental health treatment is something we're all familiar with. Mental health providers know that you have a regular schedule that probably includes a job, and seeing friends. Given this, providers have appointments at all times of day and night and many people see patients on weekends too. Some providers also use telepsychiatry to connect with you even if you can’t make it into the office. There are many options for making time for your mental health and treatment. 

Here's the takeaway

In sum, it's important to recognize is that your questions and concerns are valid.  Given this, your providers should be able to address your concerns to put you at ease. At Talkiatry, we're happy to work with you to address anything that you feel is a barrier to mental health treatment. In addition, we'll collaborate and help you find a treatment that can help you heal and make living life a little easier.

About Talkiatry

Talkiatry is a local, accessible and complete mental healthcare solution that accepts insurance. We close the gap for individuals who want to get better, but feel that mental health care has been challenging to navigate up until this point and want a more convenient way to take the first step. Talkiatry takes the traditional local mental health visit and combines it with technology, scale, efficiency, and design to provide the best possible environment for healing.

Talkiatry is a mental health practice, and our clinicians review everything we write. However, articles are never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think you may need mental health help, talk to a psychiatrist. If you or someone you know may be in danger, call 911 or the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 right away.

Related posts

Mental health is personal.
So is our approach to psychiatry.