For this round in my research, I wanted to gain more information on how accessible counselling and psychotherapy is to different kinds of people from different backgrounds, and why people choose not seek help even when the opportunity is very accessible to them.
There are many different types of mental health care people can receive. In Canada, the average price and wait list of these are:
Individual Therapy and Psychology: $100.00-200.00 per 60 minute session
Psychiatry: Once month up to three years after a referral for a professional meeting. Average of one year wait list for treatment.
Without insurance, it is at least $100.00 per meetings and services, and the initial consultation can cost up to $500.00
Medication: Medication varies extremely due to the different types of insurance and healthcare accessible. Here is an article documenting the cost people pay for their mental health care, varying on country, age, and what they are dealing with: https://www.buzzfeed.com/annab...tal-healthcare-costs)
(This is a slam poem performed by Neil Hilborn, on his experiences with counselling and managing cost)
As you can tell, mental health services can be difficult to access, even for a relatively well-off individual; $100 dollars, which is the considered the low end of the cost, is roughly the same as the cost of groceries and other necessary bills that will always be first priority-and this is only covers an hour of help. For a family already struggling with money, an extra hundred or more dollars per or bi-weekly is easily out of the question, no matter how much of an impact it can have on a person.
And even when it is affordable, the waitlist for a psychiatrist to professionally diagnose a patient is concerningly long. Youth suffering from suicidal tendencies have reported being waitlisted for months on end before being able to meet with a professional psychologist or psychiatrist.
Luckily, every school located in Canada is staffed with one or more school counselors. However, it has been noted by many that a large population of youth do not end up seeking out the help that is offered to them. 10-20% percent of youth in Canada suffer from a mental illness and disorder, with suicide being the second leading cause of death for Canadians between the ages of 10-24. While therapy is not an 100% guaranteed way to cure depression, anxiety, or other factors that lead to suicides, studies show that just counselling on it’s own causes a significant leap in development.
If every child were receiving all the help available to them when it came to mental health, the suicide rate would not be as high as it is now. Remember, suicidal thoughts is a symptom that occurs VERY EXTREME cases of depression. There is no reason why, on average, 11 people die per day of suicide within Canada. To quote the mental health statistic in Canada (https://ymhc.ngo/ymh-stats/)
“Mental illness is increasingly threatening the lives of our children; with Canada’s youth suicide rate the third highest in the industrialized world”
“In Canada, only 1 out of 5 children who need mental health services receives them.”
“Only six percent of the healthcare budget is spent on mental health. The actual figure should be 30 percent to account for the number of people with these disabilities and illnesses.”
Lack of an education on the warning signs of mental illness, stigma of mental illness, and prejudice against mentally ill people, and even culture are amongst the many reasons why people who are beginning develop a serious mental illness do not seek support. For those who already have a mental illness or disorder of some sort that have reached a concerning stage, they may fear that discussing their pain verbally may bring up traumatic memories, they may not have any motivation to go, or they may already believe they are not worthy of help. And even those who are aware of what they are dealing with and search for professional, medicinal support, like stated above, this can take years and cost thousands.
For my next round, I will be discussing with psychology teachers, and mental health professionals personally to hear their opinions on how the incorporation of psychology and behavioral science in the early education system can help reduce the ever growing rates of suicide and depression in Canadian youth.