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

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Mother And Teen Daughter Endured Ten Years Of Separation, A Dramatic Border, And A Covid Hospitalization To Be Together

Fierce

Mother And Teen Daughter Endured Ten Years Of Separation, A Dramatic Border, And A Covid Hospitalization To Be Together

Lucas Uebel / Getty

Separated from her mother for a decade, seventeen-year-old Cindy (who is only being identified by her first name) took a chance last month to see her. Despite her age, a raging pandemic, and the risks of crossing the Mexico–United States border she journeyed from Honduras to see her mother in New York. Her love for her mother was so deep, she was willing to risk everything.

In her mission, Cindy wound up in U.S. immigration facilities where she contracted Covid-19. After three days in a hospital bed in California, Cindy was finally able to contact her mother who had not learned of her daughter’s hospitalization.

Thanks to the help of a doctor who lent her their phone Cindy was able to make the call to her mother, Maria Ana.

“There are backlogs and delays in communication that are really unacceptable,” Maria Ana’s immigration lawyer Kate Goldfinch, who is also the president of the nonprofit Vecina, explained to NBC.

After learning about her daughter’s COVID-19 hospitalization, Maria Ana feared the worst. “Following weeks of anguish and uncertainty, Maria Ana spent most of her nights painting the bedroom she has fixed for Cindy, just ‘waiting for my girl,'” she explained to NBC.

Last Wednesday night, Maria Ana flew to San Diego to be with her daughter after she’d finally recovered from Covid.

At the emotional mother-daughter reunion, Maria Ana assured her daughter “no one else is going to hurt you.”

After Cindy crossed the border, she spent several days in a detention facility in Texas in the custody of Customs and Border Protection. According to NBC “On any given night, Cindy said, she would share two mattresses with about eight other girls. She could shower only every five days in one of the eight showers the facility had to serve 700 girls.”

“It was really bad,” Cindy told the outlet..

Cindy was among almost 13,350 unaccompanied children left in the care and custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement at HHS. This last year has seen over 3,715 unaccompanied children at these facilities diagnosed with Covid-19. Worse, there are currently 528 unaccompanied children who have tested positive for Covid-19 and put in medical isolation.

Now, immigration advocates and families are pressing the U.S. government to pick up reunions of children and their families in the United States. Over 80 percent of unaccompanied minors currently in federal custody have family living in the states. According to Goldfinch, “40 percent have parents in the U.S.”

“So we would think that it would be fairly quick and simple to release a child to their own parent. But because of the chaos of the system, the reunification of these kids with their parents is really frustrating and backlogged,” Goldfinch explained, “most frustrating, of course, for the actual children and their parents.”

While Cindy was in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services, no one managed to notify Ana Maria that her daughter was in the hospital according to Goldfinch

“I don’t know why my daughter has to be suffering this way, because it’s not fair. It’s something very sad for me,” Maria Ana explained to NBC

“I’ve already been through a lot,” Cindy went onto share. “But I hope it’s all worth it.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

New Findings Show That QAnon Followers Are More Likely to Suffer From Mental Illness

Things That Matter

New Findings Show That QAnon Followers Are More Likely to Suffer From Mental Illness

Photo via Getty Images

It’s no secret that QAnon followers subscribe to some outlandish ideas. The biggest one being that the government is run by a cabal of elite, satan-worshipping pedophiles. And while critics could chalk up these conspiracy theorists to a few gullible internet users, the reality is much more complicated than that.

According to new research, QAnon followers are more likely to suffer from mental illness than the rest of the population.

The data comes from a study conducted by Georgia State University by radicalization expert, Dr. Sophia Moskalenko. According to her findings, out of the QAnon followers arrested for crimes since 2018,  68% “reported they had received mental health diagnoses.” That’s in comparison to 19% of the rest of the population.

These diagnoses were manifold: post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, paranoid schizophrenia, Munchausen by proxy syndrome, as well as depression, anxiety and addiction struggles. These numbers were self-reported by QAnon offenders via social media posts or through interviews.

Due to these numbers, Dr. Moskalenko concludes that “QAnon is less a problem of terrorism and extremism than it is one of poor mental health.”

According to Dr. Moskalenko’s research, 44% of the QAnon insurrectionists “experienced a serious psychological trauma that preceded their radicalization, such as physical or sexual abuse of themselves or their children.” These past traumas may explain why QAnon supporters are more likely to believe outlandish conspiracies of elite government pedophile rings.

As Dr. Moskalenko writes: “In my view, the solution to this aspect of the QAnon problem is to address the mental health needs of all Americans – including those whose problems manifest as QAnon beliefs. Many of them – and many others who are not QAnon followers – could clearly benefit from counseling and therapy.”

Since COVID-19 radically changed most people’s way of life, mental health problems skyrocketed in the United States.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the number of people suffering from anxiety and depression quadrupled during quarantine. It doesn’t seem a coincidence, therefore, that the QAnon movement gained such momentum during a year when people were already suffering from extreme stress and isolation.

But just because QAnon followers are more likely to suffer from mental illness, that does not mean that every person who suffers from mental illness is a QAnon follower.

It’s unfortunate that power-hungry politicians have leveraged the beliefs of already-vulnerable people to their advantage.

In a time when so many people feel much more fragile than they did before, there are some bad actors out there who are using misguided conspiracy theorists to push their own agenda.

Politicians like Donald Trump, Rep. Lauren Boebert and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene have used QAnon rhetoric to recruit voters. Instead, they should be getting their constituents the help they need instead of manipulating and taking advantage of them. These so-called leaders are preying upon people who are unwell and looking for help and guidance.

As one Twitter user wrote: “‘Q Anon’ has consumed those already plagued with mental illness. We need to address this because this is how ordinary American citizens become radicalized.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com