Mental health issues can pop up at any point in our life. Currently, we are facing a mental health crisis throughout age groups. But a particularly hard-hit demographic is young adults. This is a time a lot of mental health issues begin to cause problems.
Generally, when kids have behavioral issues, parents can get them into mental health treatment. But, once our kids become young adults with increasing independence, it can be hard to detect mental health issues and even harder to get them help. At the time they most need it, young adults simply aren’t finding the help that could improve or even save their lives. Or they are looking to places in social media or the internet that can be scary or unhelpful to diagnose mental health issues.
Here are three common barriers to getting help for the mental health issues young adults may face.
They get overwhelmed by the stigma
Thinking about the stigma of any health problem can be overwhelming. And when someone, regardless of age, realizes that their mental health is causing problems, it’s distressing. Young adults are particularly sensitive to the stigma. They wonder how friends will perceive them, what it means for their romantic lives, their schoolwork, their future. Or they try to get simple answers online to help them feel less stigmatized and more acceptable to the world.
They don’t know where to get help
Most adults probably don’t know the difference between a PhD, LCSW, LMFT, or any of the other types of therapists. Finding an appropriate therapist often requires a lot of research. Long wait lists and impersonal service may discourage someone from getting help at a community or campus mental health center.
You can consider that there are a lot of therapist registries, like Therapy Den (https://www.therapyden.com) that can help young adults find the right fit, and even registries to help find sliding scale options (https://openpathcollective.org).
They can’t afford the cost of therapy
College students or adults who are new to the workforce may not have the resources to pay for weekly therapy. If they are on a parent’s insurance plan, they may not understand the plan’s benefits, like copays, maximums, or the differences between in-network or out-of-network benefits. To help think more on this consider visiting this website https://www.nami.org/Your-Journey/Individuals-with-Mental-Illness/Understanding-Health-Insurance
Tips for overcoming the barriers
There are several ways to assist young adults in getting help.
Ask if you can take the first steps to finding resources for them, or if you both can search together. Help them understand their insurance and their financial options. Ask therapists if they work on a sliding scale to lower payments.
Remind them that talking to a therapist is confidential and that they will feel better.
UpliftME Attachment-Based Therapy believes that some help is better than none. We offer a sliding scale and can explain how to submit billing information to their insurance company. We can decrease session frequency, too. One session a month with a therapist, for instance, may not be an ideal intervention, but our therapists can provide strategies and information on resources for those who can’t afford weekly therapy. Sometimes the goal is a conversation that allows young adults to help themselves, find affordable resources, and simply get unstuck.
Delaying mental health treatment can have dire consequences. Many people wait more than a decade after the onset of symptoms before pursuing help. This often leads to other health problems, such as substance abuse or lifestyle-related diseases. Delaying treatment can lead to poor relationships and quality of life. Like most health conditions, it’s almost always true that earlier is best for seeking treatment. And it’s very common that early treatment can lead to greater outcomes and positive life changes.
UpliftME Attachment-Based Therapy therapist Christy Elwell would love to talk with you about how she can help. https://upliftmechildtherapy.com/meet-our-therapists/christy-elwell-lcsw/