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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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Michelle Obama Says That She Has ‘Low-Grade Depression’

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Michelle Obama Says That She Has ‘Low-Grade Depression’

Scott Olson / Getty

Since leaving her life in the White House, former first lady Michelle Obama has been unabashedly open about her personal life. From writing about her marriage in her recent book Becoming to speaking out about our current president, Obama is unleashing her truth in so many ways. Recently, she revealed during an episode of her podcast that, like most of us, she’s been dealing with “some form of low-grade depression” thanks in part to recent events.

During last week’s Wednesday episode of her eponymous podcast, Obama talked with journalist Michele Norris about her mental health saying “Barack and I, we’ve lived outside of the norm of regular life for quite some time, and what we learned early on in the White House is — in order to stay sane and feel like the human that you once were — is that you have to have a schedule and a routine.”

Speaking out about her current mental state Obama revealed that she has struggled to keep up with her usual regimen. 

“I’m waking up in the middle of the night, ‘cause I’m worried about something or there’s a heaviness,” she explained. “I try to make sure I get a workout in. Although there have been periods throughout this quarantine where I just have felt too low.”

“It is unusual,” Obama went on. “And it’s a direct result of being out of body, out of mind. Spiritually, these are not fulfilling times. I know that I am dealing with some form of low-grade depression. Not just because of the quarantine, but because of the racial strife, and just seeing this administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting.”

Later on in the podcast, Obama explained she’d “be remiss to say that part of this depression is also a result of what we’re seeing in terms of the protests, the continued racial unrest, that has plagued this country since its birth. I have to say that waking up to the news, waking up to how this administration has or has not responded, waking up to yet another story of a Black man or a Black person somehow being dehumanized, or hurt, or killed, or falsely accused of something, it is exhausting. And it has led to a weight that I haven’t felt in my life, in a while.”

According to research, Obama’s not the only one feeling the “psychological toll” of the pandemic and BLM events.

The Lancet Psychiatry, revealed that soon after the release of the video taken during George Floyd’s killing, rates of depression and anxiety among Black Americans skyrocketed at ones much greater than any other group.

According to The Washington Post “The rate of black Americans showing clinically significant signs of anxiety or depressive disorders jumped from 36 percent to 41 percent in the week after the video of Floyd’s death became public. That represents roughly 1.4 million more people.”

To cope, Obama explained that she’s tried to be kind to herself in moments when she’s feeling down.

“You have to recognize that you’re in a place, a bad place, in order to get out of it,” she explained in the episode. “You kinda have to sit in it for a minute, to know, oh, oh, I’m feeling off. So now I gotta feed myself with something better.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing depression please call the National Depressive/Manic-Depressive Association Hotline at 1-800-826-3632 or the Crisis Call Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-775-784-8090. 

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This TikTok Hack Shows A Pretty Cool Way To Grow Your Own Avocados At Home

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This TikTok Hack Shows A Pretty Cool Way To Grow Your Own Avocados At Home

@BradCanning/ TikTok

As the pandemic continues to carry us into the infinite unknown the only thing that we can be certain of is that keeping ourselves entertained, busy, and happy is essential. Of course, any plant lover knows that one of the most simple pleasures in life is having some homegrown vegetables in the kitchen. If you’re quarantining and doing all that you can to avoid public spaces like grocery stores this truth goes double.

Recently, a TikTok user uploaded a quick tutorial on how to make your very own avocado plant using supplies you probably have around the house as well as that avocado seed you most definitely toss out way too often. We broke down the steps for you below and they’re pretty easy!

Check them out below.

Here’s what you’ll need

  • Avocado seed
  • Water 
  • Paper towels
  • Ziploc bags
  • A vase or glass

1. Once you’ve cut the avocado hold on to the seed

@BradCanning/ TikTok

As TikTok user @BradCanning points out save the seed! As you’re preparing your avocado for a feast, be sure to avoid cutting into the seed.

2. Remove the outer layer of the seed by peeling it off

@BradCanning/ TikTok

Run the seed underwater then dry it. Once it’s dried up, peel off the skin with your fingers to make sure the seed doesn’t go moldy.

3. Allow the seed to sprout and grow a root by wrapping it in a paper towel and putting it in a Ziplock bag

@BradCanning/ TikTok

After the seed has been in the bag for two to three weeks, it’s time to pull it out and crack it open.

4. Fill a jar with water and suspend the seed

@BradCanning/ TikTok

According to Canning’s TikTok “Put the root in water and it will start to sprout … be careful though, this is a total addiction.”

Make sure to place only the roots or half of the seed in water. To do this, Canning used a vase with an opening that fits around the diameter of the seed. Note: others often insert wooden pegs into the seed to suspend it above the water. The root will slowly grow into the water below which means you’ve got a healthy growing plant on your hands.

5. Once the plant gets to a good size pot it in soil.

@BradCanning/ TikTok

Once the plant gets to a good size you can pot it in soil or in a bigger vase to ensure that it keeps growing. According to SF Gate, “After that, the plant takes 10 to 15 years to grow large enough to fruit, which it only does in suitable growing conditions. In U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 12, it’s safe to grow avocado plants outside. In colder zones, they make attractive houseplants but are unlikely to bear fruit.”

For the full video check it out here.

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