Fierce

Latinas On Instagram Are Getting Real About How The Cost Of Mental Health Impacts Them

Sadly, while therapy should be accessible to everyone not everyone has access to it. In fact, oftentimes regular therapy can come at quite the price. And while recent medical studies have shown that current societal pressures have caused Latinas in particular to experience high levels of stress, it doesn’t look like that is changing. With insurance companies often refusing to consider mental health benefits as part of their plans many of us are left to deal with our mental burdens all on our own.

To help, we recently asked Latinas for advice on how to get therapy and the responses were pretty helpful.

Here are the top takeaways.

Some institutions charge less for students.

“Always google training centers and universities for affordable therapy. Often students need to complete x amount of hours with patients and they charge a fraction of the cost. In San Francisco “The Liberation Institute” is a great resource.” –citybythebea

English/Spanish bilingual options are pretty available.

“Hi! I am an NY licensed (Queens based) English/Spanish bilingual clinical psychologist. I offer sliding scale therapy on Zoom based on whatever the patient is able to pay. My mission in this field is to make therapy possible for as much of our gente as possible and remove the notion that therapy is only for affluent White people. I am happy to chat with anyone that’s interested in learning more about therapy, mental health, or even working together.” –afuentes5

Many therapists don’t take insurance.

“It’s frustrating that most therapists don’t take insurance.” – jackelyn.v

It might take some time to find the right therapist but hang in there!

“What’s horrible is that even when you can afford it, it can often be quite difficult finding the proper therapist. It took me years to realize mine was not helping me and that I had to search for a better one.”- __soul

Sometimes video chats can be cheaper!

“Theres an app that charges $35 a wk for video chat with a therapist. If im not mistaken, its as many video chats as u want.” –xtabayfour

Some therapists provide a sliding scale.

“Also, therapists charge $80-$200 for several reasons. Cost of living, licensing, business expenses, their own insurance. Many times, clients may miss sessions for different reasons, therefore this can impact the flow of money. People spend that amount to get their hair done, nails, buy shoes, with no question. All this to say, you can get the help for your price point. Don’t give up trying! Call 211 for assistance too.” – missblovely

You might be able to get therapy through your insurance after a certain amount of time.

“If you have health insurance (another privilege, I know), you can get therapy through your insurance. I didn’t know this until 2 years ago when I read needed therapy but didn’t have the resources. You’ll do an intake to determine what you need (Eg. Counseling for anxiety and depression) and then have access to a whole network of providers for a fraction of the cost. Sometimes only $25/session! Mental health is healthcare!” – _devinjones

Don’t give up on therapy!

“It really depends on the type of insurance you carry. More and more employers are adding behavioral benefits. So do some research and ask HR about your benefits, since many of times they aren’t properly explained. Also, look into community health centers. Some therapist now offer sliding scales too, so don’t give up. Olisha Hodges, serves Alameda County. She is awesome! Also, google, Psychology Today, you can do a search and look through a list of specialist in your area.” – julisssac

BUT know that giving up certain luxuries for the sake of your mental health might be worth it.

“You are correct it should not be luxury items! As a therapist, I offer sliding scale rates. However even with a full case load of clients, as a therapist I cannot afford to live to pay double rent (my apt and office rent) my licensing, insurance, food, bills, plus the 10+ hours I spend a week doing my clients notes (they are not paid hours.) as someone mentioned in the comments $40 was still too expensive for sessions. I respect that, I was a Medicaid client when I used to get therapy as a student. Insurance companies do not respect our work and pay us very little that can barely afford my private practice. So the system is horrible and needs to change. I also know people who resent paying certain prices to therapists but then spend much more on yoga sessions, nails, hair, drinks, etc. so a lot of people don’t see therapy as a priority. I am happy that many people posted all these fabulous affordable recourses.” – lemonbalm333

In-network therapists will charge your copay.

“In-network therapists charge your copay which varies from $20-50 on average. There are also normally sliding fee scales which are based on your income so the amount you pay could be (depending on the therapist) zero. Also, with some employers, there are EAP (employee assistance programs) which offer short term therapy for free 5-10 sessions depending on the contractual agreement between the employer and EAP. You can choose to keep seeing that same therapist as well for a cost. Services such as @openpathpsychotherapy have therapists that charge a lower fee than what they normally would. All this to say, the options are out there. It may be a little scary on what to do or choose, but help is out there with low fees.” –missblovely

When it comes to financial compensation your therapist might be flexible.

“I remember after my last baby I needed therapy desperately and the receptionist said it would be $140 each visit and I sobbed and was ready to walk out because we couldn’t afford that, we’d just bought a new house, new car & added a 3rd child to our family. I tried to see if I could just go once a month but my therapist said she’d like to see me every week. The receptionist came back and said it’s only $40 which was still more than I’d like to spend but it was much more manageable than $140.”- jesslynne618

There’s help for every budget.

“Many can start with EAP offered by their employer; some offer more than the standard 3 sessions. EAP can also assist with referring you to a more long-term provider based on your needs & $$. They can also research therapists on psychology today as some mention their prices & offer a sliding fee scale. @openpathpsychotherapy is another program that requires client membership to access therapists that charge $30-60/session. There are various options. Speaking as a therapist, one may charge based on their yrs or level of experience, specific trainings, etc. Just as physicians, we are licensed to diagnose & treat. As with such, there are measures that must be taken to ensure the best level of treatment (to each his own price range). Clients aren’t limited to paying large amounts, especially in this era of online therapy. There’s help for every budget. Dialing 2-1-1 is also helpful to explore what’s offered in your area.” – _sunshineof_kc

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In The First Episode Of FIERCE’s ‘Money Moves,’ We Explore The All-Important Budget

Fierce

In The First Episode Of FIERCE’s ‘Money Moves,’ We Explore The All-Important Budget

mitú

Finances can be hard. A lot of us were never told how to properly budget because our families weren’t equipped. Fortunately, in the 21st century, we can connect electronically with other Latinos and Latinas who are making money moves. In the first episode of FIERCE’s “Money Moves,” we talked with Beatriz Acevedo, CEO and founder of We Are Suma, a new financial literacy media company.

We Are Suma is a new company that wants to teach you how to make the most of your money.

Financial literacy is so important in creating generational wealth. It is an important step to being financially comfortable. CEO and founder of We Are Suma Beatriz Acevedo wants to help all Latinos and Latinas reach their financial goals. The most important place to start is creating a good and manageable budget. We sat down and spoke with her about what to do to make that happen. Here are some of her insights.

Sam: What would you recommend in terms of knowing what I need to get financially fit?

Beatriz Acevedo: Well, listen. Because we are here in a group of Latinas, like I said earlier, there’s certainly a lot of particularly incredible, amazing Latinas that do these seminars and these course. I have made my list of the ones that we already work with and really love. One that we have as our Latina in residence right now giving us a lot of this coaching is Jen Hemphill and she has a podcast called ‘Her Dinero Matters.’ So constantly, if you follow them, they have their social media, they have the things that they do. We mentioned Julie from Investing Latina that you guys will have on. Also, she does these seminars where they are made for our community. It just doesn’t feel as dry as when you read content or you go to a class and are like, ‘Oh my god. I feel so out of place here with the words that they are using the expectation that i already know this.’ No. This if for our community by our community. Latina Money. We’ve done some collaborations with her as well for equal pay. She’s awesome. Snowball Wealth. If you have student debt, they definitely specialize. Dana is your girl who specializes in how can you lower that. How can you start paying off your student debt?

All these are amazing Latinas that want to support our community and what they do every day is that. Obviously for us at We Are Suma, we do it in a very fun pop culture kind of way as well. So, five years ago if you asked me this question, I’d be like, ‘I don’t know.’ Today, there are so many resources and just with the ones that I mentioned that you guys can find right here on Instagram.

All of those resources are great. They’re easy to understand and again they’re made my women in our community so they understand where we came from and they understand that we did not have those conversations growing up, that we’re going to need to catch up.

S: What should they take a look at when creating a budget? Is it kind of like consolidating everything that they have and writing down a list?

BA: It’s a very easy thing to do nowadays. I remember when my dad would always tell my mom, ‘¿Donde esta el presupuesto?’ He knew that el presupuesto was very important because my mom and I are enthusiasts of la Marshalls y la Ross. Like, ‘Look, it’s only $9.99.” But, then, they can add up. So, I remember her so vividly in the kitchen, the poor woman, doing these budgets for my dad or for the household in these yellow pads. She was like, Food and this and Gas and all of this other stuff and adding it up. Nowadays, it’s so easy. there are so many apps that you can use. Even from the resources from all of these other Latinas that I mentioned earlier, some of them have these.

I know Snowball has one of these and I’m sure most of them do. It’s free tools where you can go in and you plug in and it helps you to track all of your expenses. There’s also very sophisticated apps that I like to use and it is the preference of people that very easily let you see how much do you make. It’s very important to know how much you make. You make a budget for $10,000 and you make $5,000, that’s not gong to work out, even if you have a beautiful budget.

S: Could you share some of the apps that you personally use or that you would recommend?

BA: Mint is the most popular one from all of the surveys. People really love it. I’ve never used Mint personally, but it must be great because people love it, and is the overall best one. I use PocketGuard. I don’t know how I discovered it or why, but I like it and that keeps you from overspending. It’s almost like, ‘Oh, you’ve reached this. Or you’re spending $5 more this month than you spent this month. It is always sort of alerting you. I’m sure all of them alert you if you are going over the budget that you have.

There’s one that people love that I just learned about that’s called You Need A Budget. That’s the one that people say is for the Type A personality so I need to look into that. It is on this principle of zero-based budgeting, which means that you give a job to every cent that you make. You don’t leave anything up to chance. Even if you are going to put something into retirement or to invest. You make $10 and your budget is at $10. It’s depleted so there is never anything left either under or over that could be a great area. A lot of people really like this You Need A Budget app that I still have to check out.

We were also talking about the envelope method. I learned about that a long time ago in my previous life when I was a tv producer. We were doing this show for Discovery channel where we would go into Latinos homes that needed almost a financial intervention because they were in bankruptcy. They had a mess with their finances. You would walk into their houses and they would have the most unbelievable TVs, VR sets before VR was popular. You’re like, ‘Oh my god. What are you doing, dude?’ I remember that our financial adviser at the time told the woman like, ‘Señora, you’ve got to cut off your credit cards.’ The woman was crying cutting up her credit cards but she had maxed out so many credit cards buying clothing for the daughter. The guy had bought all of these electronics. It was crazy. Then I remember that it seemed pretty prehistoric, right, because I was, ‘Really? You’re going to go put money into an envelope?’… I was reading that there is one called Mvelopes and that sort of mimics that but in the digital world.

Make sure you watch the full interview below for all of Acevedo’s tips to growing your wealth.

Make 2021 the year to become financially fit! You have the power to dictate what happens with your finances.

READ: Do You Combine Finances With Your Spouse? Latinas Answered!

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Bad Bunny Talks Depression And Says Sometimes He Still Feels Like The Boy Who Bagged Groceries Back Home

Entertainment

Bad Bunny Talks Depression And Says Sometimes He Still Feels Like The Boy Who Bagged Groceries Back Home

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Bad Bunny is on top of the world. Or, at least, that’s how it appears to all of us on the outside enjoying his record-breaking year. Not only did he release three albums in 2020 but he also landed his debut acting role in the Netflix series Narcos: Mexico and from his Instagram stories, he seems to be in a happy, contentful relationship.

But like so many others, Bad Bunny has his experience with mental health issues, of which he recently opened up about in an interview with El País.

Bad Bunny recently spoke up about his struggle with depression.

Despite his immense success that’s catapulted him to, arguably, the world’s biggest superstar, Bad Bunny admits that sometimes he still feels like the young man who bagged groceries in a supermarket.

The reggaetonero revealed in an interview with El País that right as his career really started to take off, he was not happy. “You asked me before how I hadn’t gone crazy. Well, I think that was the moment that was going to determine if I was going to go crazy or not. From 2016 to 2018 I disappeared, I was stuck in a capsule, without knowing anything. The world saw me, but I was missing,” he said.

Although no doctor diagnosed him, he is sure of what was happening. it only did he feel lost and empty but he had stopped doing many of the things that brought him joy, like watching movies and boxing. Without realizing it, he had also fallen out of contact with much of his family, with whom he was typically very close.

“And that’s when I said: who am I? What’s going on?” he told El País. When he returned home to Puerto Rico from spending time in Argentina, he was able to get back into the right state of mind and remember who he was.

Despite his success, Bad Bunny still worries he’s in financial trouble.

Although today, he is the number one Latin artist on Spotify and the awards for his music keep coming, there are times when Bad Bunny still thinks that he has financial problems.

“Not long ago, I was 100% clear in my head what I have achieved, maybe a year or six months ago; but until then, many times I forgot, I felt that I was the kid from the supermarket. He would happen something and say: “Hell!” And then: “Ah, no, wait, if I have here,” he said, touching his pocket.

Much like Bad Bunny, J Balvin has also been candid about his own mental health struggles.

Bad Bunny is just the most recent to speak to the emotional havoc he experiences despite being a global superstar. And, thankfully, like many other celebrities, he’s been able to find refuge in a reality that allows him to keep his feet on the ground so that he too can enjoy the achievements of his career.

Much like El Conejo, J Balvin is known for the brightness of his style and mentality. But he’s long addressed the importance of caring for one’s mental health. During his Arcoíris Tour, he encouraged people to not be ashamed of seeking professional help, and let the audience know they are not alone.   

“Las enfermedades de salud mental son una realidad. Yo he sufrido de depresión y he sufrido de ansiedad, así que tengo que aceptarlo. Y eso me hace más humano, me hace entender que la vida tiene pruebas,” Balvin said. “Pero si alguien está pasando una situación difícil, no están solos, siempre llega la luz. Tarde o temprano llega la luz.”  

“Mental health illnesses are a reality. I have suffered from depression and anxiety, so I have to accept it. And this makes me more human. It makes me understand that life has challenges,” Balvin said in Spanish. “But if someone is going through a difficult time, they are not alone, light always comes. Sooner or later, the light comes.”  

We need more men like Benito and J Balvin to speak up about their mental health struggles, to help destroy the stigma that exists within our community.

And in the same interview, he also spoke about why he works to elevate the Spanish language.

As for the possibility of singing in English, the answer remains the same: a resounding no.

“You have to break this view that the gringos are Gods…No, papi,” he told El País. And, although he’s collaborated with artists like Drake, Cardi B and Jennifer Lopez, he has always sang in Spanish and with his famous accent.

“I am very proud to reach the level where we are speaking in Spanish, and not only in Spanish, but in the Spanish that we speak in Puerto Rico. Without changing the accent,” he said.

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