The Health Blog of the Wall Street Journal included an post regarding the difficulty physicians face in finding quality, affordable mental health referrals for their patients. (Read the full article here). Evelyn Shaw, LMSW responded with the following comment:
I echo everyone’s sentiments on the state of the mental health care system. It is a national shame.
There are, however, mental health professionals who make social justice part of their professional mission, and who make themselves financially accessible to those who are un- or under-insured. But finding such a therapist is an enormous challenge.
Nobody hangs out a shingle advertising reduced-fee psychotherapy. Professional membership organizations admonish us not to “cheapen the profession” by reducing our rates.
Word of mouth is the name of the game, and those who are not in this very tiny word-of-mouth loop are left high and dry.
Like Joseph, I am fortunate to be part of a fledgling but committed network of socially conscious psychotherapists in the New York City area. Getting the word out is an ongoing challenge.
I’d suggest that folks use search terms like “sliding scale fee therapy”,
“low cost therapy”, “sliding scale psychotherapy”, and “therapy referral service.” And check out Therapy Safety Net’s website (therapysafetynet.org) to see what we’re doing.
Wang, S. (April 14, 2009). Finding referrals for mental-health patients often elusive. Wall Street Journal: Health Blog.http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2009/04/14/finding-referrals-for-mental-health-patients-often-elusive/