With recession looming right around the corner, and inflation have seeped into everyday lives with increase in prices overall, where does prioritizing mental health needs fall into the overarching need of a person to function holistically?
Traditionally, mental health will only be prioritized when people generally feel safe and secure about their finances and able to afford products and services that are perceived as an extension of their basic needs. However, the post-covid world seems to suggest that mental health as in fact as critical as physical health needs. Individuals who are mentally healthy and robust are more likely to be more productive, than individuals who struggles with emotional and mental distress, who are typically regarded as “mentally unhealthy”.
World Health Organization (WHO, 2022), estimates that the United States loses approximately a trillion US dollars annually due to productivity drops resulting from mental health concerns. Another study done in Australia showed that psychological distress produces an $ AU5.9 billion reduction in Australian employee productivity per annum (Hilton, Scuffham, Vecchio & Whiteford, 2010). These are significant amount of dollar impact caused by mental wellness concerns.
In recession times, people are concern about livelihood, job security, productivity, and increase in cost. But guess what, if an individual struggles with emotional and mental health concerns, the risk of losing their jobs and losing their income for livelihood increases! Thus, the best way to manage financial challenges for the need of therapy is not to cut the therapy off, but rather to find ways to reduce cost of therapy by considering many options.
Option 1: Prioritize mental health needs and not the luxuriousness of the premise
Many people go for counselling with an expectation that the counselling room must look luxurious, feel good, new and well furnished. However, do you know that these superfluousness raises the overall counselling cost? Rent and renovation cost are huge overheads for all centres; so with these out of the way, you are likely to pay much less than what you are being for.
Main priority is confidentiality, therapist alliance, and a safe space for you to be open and transparent to share your problems and work through those concerns.
Option 2: Go for packaged pricing
Many centres offers strong packages to reduce cost of therapy for you. Take up those packages and look for packages without expiry dates. That way you can pre-pay for your sessions at a much lower rate, and you get to keep the credits for as long as needed!
Option 3: Consider affordable options by qualified, credible practitioners
Price points are critical but low prices offered by unqualified practitioners can be a serious problems. Many online platforms offers counselling or psychological services by practitioners with dubious background without proper registration or licensure. The ideal is to look for a balance of qualified professionals within a reasonable cost range.
Hilton, M. F., Scuffham, P.A., Vecchio, N. & Whiteford, H. A. (2010). Using the interaction of mental health symptoms and treatment status to estimate lost employee productivity. Australian New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 44(2).
World Health Organization, (2022, November 16th). Mental Health At Work. Mental Health in the Workplace: