How To Find Mental Health Support Services
If you’re interested in exploring mental health services, the best place to start is by asking people you trust for recommendations. The following people can recommend mental health professionals who specialize in helping people who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer:
anyone on your medical care team, including your primary care doctor
a trusted family member or friend
your health insurance company (you can call the number on the back of your health insurance card or go to the company’s website)
You may also be interested in exploring additional resources:
Help lines, such as the Cancer Support Community (1-888-793-9355), the American Psychosocial Oncology Society, (1-866-276-7443), or the American Cancer Society (1-800-227-2345).
The American Psychological Association has a list of psychological associations in every state. These associations can provide you with a list of services available near you. Other reputable resources include the Anxiety and Depression Association of American (ADAA) and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).
Many hospitals often have outpatient psychiatry clinics. Call your local hospital to see if they can recommend any resources available in your area.
Psychology Today offers a large database of mental health specialists by state or city that you can then sort by specialization, location, or type of health insurance they accept.
Your cancer care team may be able to recommend organizations that provide counseling and mental health support services.
Members of our community can recommend mental health resources they’ve used.
Health insurance coverage
If you are interested in receiving mental health services, it’s a good idea to call your health insurance provider to confirm exactly what your plan covers. Some health plans:
cover only a certain number of visits each year
require a co-payment
require you to cover a certain percentage of the total cost of each visit
It’s also a good idea to confirm whether your health insurance plan considers a mental health provider you may be interested in seeing to in network or out of network. If the provider is out of network, ask whether some portion of the fee may be reimbursed. If you have a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), you may be able to use either of those accounts to pay for out-of-network costs.
If costs for mental health services are a concern, it’s important to know that some mental health providers may be willing to adjust their fees based on your annual income. Your cancer center also may offer in-house services as part of your care.
If you’d like to try to find a sliding-scale therapist or see if there are free services in your area, FindTreatment.gov has a searchable directory. You may also consider contacting local colleges and universities if you feel comfortable talking to a therapist-in-training. Sometimes psychologists-in-training who are earning their masters or doctoral degrees offer counseling services free or at reduced rates. These student therapists work under the supervision of a licensed, experienced mental health practitioner.
Written by: Carolyn Sayre, freelance writer
— Last updated on September 22, 2022, 9:01 PM