How to Get Retired Mental Health Care, According to the Therapist

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If you are looking for retirement mental health care, you are not alone.

The CDC estimates that about 20% of people aged 55 and over have a mental health problem. In 2020, that number was higher – the Reports from the Kaiser Family Foundation that 24% of adults over 65 reported being anxious or depressed.

Seeking professional help is relatively common among retirees, according to financial therapist George Blount of nBalance Financial in Boston.

In his practice, Blount most often sees retirees feeling anxious. “It’s really focused on a few areas that primarily relate to anxiety,” he told Insider. “Am I going to have enough to eat and will I have a place to stay? Will I be able to take care of myself? Did I do the right things? It’s starting to show up in all kinds of ways. things.”

But it’s essential to take care of those feelings early on, he said. “What starts out as normal anxiety, depending on its intensity, can turn into any number of things.”

Getting help can prevent a typical anxiety attack from turning into something more. Here are two steps you can take to get mental health help if you are having difficulty in retirement.

1. Discover the advantages available to you

Initially, it will be important to understand how you will pay for mental health care, and the health insurance that you have in retirement will play a big part in your decisions.

If you are already affiliated with Medicare, you will receive assistance in covering these costs through your health insurance, in particular Health insurance part B. The benefits of this plan include individual and group therapy, testing, assessments, and medication management.

For others with private insurance, your insurer should explain your benefits and if or to what extent these services are covered. If you have purchased your own health insurance from the Affordable Care Act market, mental health services are must be covered.

If you don’t have health or private insurance, or if mental health services aren’t covered by your plan, there are ways to find affordable services. Many counselors and therapists offer sliding scale plans, where services are priced based on income. It could help you cut costs if you plan to pay out of pocket.

There are also free or low cost services available from state and local governments. Searching online for programs in your state or county might be a good way to find what is available to you.

2. Find the right professional

Retirement is not only a huge change for your money, it is also a huge change for your life. And, all is not easy. Finding the right person to help you could make a big difference.

For those struggling to transition from work to retirement, Blount says a life coach or career coach might be the right fit.

“If they’re more concerned with the transition to retirement and whether or not they want to end their career, they can look for a career counselor or life coach, rather than a mental health professional,” to really talk about that type of transition, ”Blount said.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the financial aspects of retirement, a financial therapist may be the right solution. Financial therapists can help you understand and unbox your relationship with money. “I try to make sure that we understand the emotional relationship with our hierarchy of needs,” said Blount. “A lot of stress or anxiety, a lot of things we’re looking for, it usually comes from answering those hierarchical questions.”

Getting in touch with a therapist or counselor could be a good first step. This person can help you identify what you need and provide you with references if you are unsure of who to turn to.

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