San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) October 03, 2013
Already burdened with the highest cost of living in the nation, San Francisco Bay Area residents who seek mental health services have limited options for quality affordable treatment. But the barrier to access quality treatment has been softened by changes which will allow individuals to receive counseling for a newly reduced rate of $20 per hour at The Holos Institute, a nonprofit mental health clinic with offices in San Francisco, Oakland and Marin County.
The rate is targeted at lower-income residents who would otherwise be unable to afford mental health services, including the uninsured and underinsured. Many with either private or public insurance still cannot pay for mental health due to high deductibles, caps on the number of sessions, and low reimbursement rates.
The lower rate offered by Holos Institute comes at a time when the burden of mental health costs have shifted as a result of the economic downturn as people lost their private insurance and have entered federal programs like Medicaid or try and make do without coverage. A quarter of the 15.7 million Americans who received mental health care listed themselves as the main payer for the services, according to one survey that looked at those services from 2005 to 2009. The majority of those who did seek outpatient treatment had out-of-pocket costs between $100 and $5,000.
Experts say that costs are a major barrier to services that ultimately help save on indirect financial costs like lost worker productivity and physical health as it relates to stress, as well as the emotional costs of psychological problems that go unaddressed. Research findings suggest that even though the majority of adults have some form of health insurance coverage, there are significant limitations on coverage for mental health services, according to a 2011 report by federal researchers. Separate research from found 45 percent of those not receiving mental health care listing cost as a barrier, according to the Washington Post.
According to Jan Stein, director of the Bay Area–based Holos Institute, organizations committed to offering affordable mental health services are rare. At Holos Institute, the new cost of treatment, based on a person’s ability to pay, now ranges from $20 to $125 per session. Group therapy ranges from free to $40 per session.
Holos Institute offers therapy with an approach based Ecopsychology, which in addition to traditional psychotherapeutic models, recognizes an individual’s spiritual health and relationship to the natural environment as an integral part of their mental health. According to Stein, “We hold the viewpoint the human mind and body are a part of nature and the whole web of life and, thus, can benefit from being seen through that lens.”
Visit the Holos Institute online at http://www.holosinstitute.net or call 415-750-0478