The National Institute of Mental Health found that 46 percent of Americans displayed one or more mental health issues throughout their life and according to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 50% of people with mental health issues don’t seek help. Factors such as lack of information, pride, fear, or finances can weigh on a person’s decision to not seek help which can progress into long-term mental health issues. These are five common reasons why people don’t get help when they need it.

1. Lack of Information

You or someone you know needs help, but where do you turn? What kind of help is available? An easy way to find help is to begin conversation with a medical professional. Help can be found through:

Your insurance company can provide a list of providers in your specific plan. For an overview on a variety of mental health topics, visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

2. Pride

Pride may cause a person to think they are better than “those who need mental health help.” They may fear loss of self-esteem by admitting they need help. Overcoming pride can be accomplished by:

  1. Observing negative self-talk & making a change
  2. Giving yourself permission to seek help
  3. Embracing vulnerability
  4. Reaching out

Once a person is on the road to recovery, they can be proud of their accomplishments.

3. Bootstrap Mentality

Picking oneself up by the bootstraps and solving mental health problems only goes so far. A bootstrap mentality can block what’s really bothering a person. Overcoming a bootstrap mentality can also help a person accept their situation and realize they can’t overcome mental or emotional issues on their own. Having help from an outside perspective can lead to a faster recovery by helping identify proper treatment.

4. Fear of What Others Think

Coming to the realization that something needs attention can make some people feel weak or flawed. 18.5% of adults and 46% of teens have some sort of mental illness. Some people shy away from help due to shame and fear of what other people may think. Lessen the fear by:

  1. Finding support groups with people who battle similar issues
  2. Engaging with people close to you with whom you can speak freely
  3. Researching more information about mental health issues
  4. Finding the right professional to assist

Fears can diminish with education and support. What other people think is miniscule when it comes to you feeling better, and no one has to know unless you want them to know.

5. Financial Burden

Accepting help is one thing, affording help is another. In 2008, the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity (MHPAE) Act was put into place requiring coverage of mental health, behavioral health, and substance abuse disorders. Even with the MHPAE act, insurance can be costly.

Every Day Health recommends some economical ways for receiving help:

  1. Start with your community health center – Many state agencies offer low-cost consultations as well as inpatient/outpatient therapy. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s Mental Health Locator can help you find a community health center near you.
  2. Go grassroots Mental Health America and National Alliance on Mental Illness have advocated for every American to find the right mental health care solution. Mental health organizations have made it their mission to identify local, low-cost treatment and help with insurance questions and doctor referrals.
  3. Check out a nearby college – If a local college offers graduate programs in psychology, social work, counseling, or psychiatry, there is a chance they provide cost friendly mental health services to community members.
  4. Give group therapy a try – Group therapy is a more affordable option than one-on-one sessions. If you do have a therapist, ask if they offer group sessions or find a group therapist through the American Group Psychotherapy Association’s
  5. Ask about sliding fees – If you already have a therapist, let them know your financial concerns and they may be able to work out a payment plan. You may also contact your state’s licensing boards to find providers with sliding fee structures.
  6. Work Disability – If your mental health is hurting your work, you may be eligible for disability benefits if you can prove your mental health has hindered your ability to keep a job.

Get Help for Mental Illness

If mental health issues are ignored or not addressed properly they may become more serious. Over 41,000 people die from suicide every year, and 90 percent of those had a treatable mental disorder. Having a mental health disorder diagnosed and treated saves lives. If you or someone you know is battling mental or emotional issues:

  • Ask if they want help
  • If they refuse help, find out why help isn’t wanted
  • Realize the problem can become worse
  • Find treatment options
  • Get help

Become informed and find the right treatment to combat mental health issues. For more helpful articles, join our digital community for monthly updates.