Mental Health Financial Assistance: Top 6 Ways to Get Help

| 6 min read Financial Assistance

According to the Mental Health Foundation, more than 15 million people live with a mental health issue in the UK. Sadly, less than half of people in need ever receive mental health care . If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health issues, know there are many resources that provide mental health financial assistance—so you can get back to the life of well-being you deserve. 

The true cost of mental illness

Mental illness manifests itself in several ways, and it doesn’t have to be completely debilitating to become a problem. When mental health issues begin to affect your ability to function and cause you recurring stress, it may be time to seek help. 

  • The Mental Health Foundation in the UK estimate 1 in 6 people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem (such as anxiety, depression and stress 
  • This can be a costly public health concern. In 2013, Chief Medical Officer’s report estimated that the wider costs of mental health problems to the UK economy are between £70 to 100 billion per year
  • In terms of Britain’s labour force, it’s believed that 181,600 people cannot work because of their mental health problems
  • In England, early interventions and home treatment for mental health problems can reduce hospital admissions, shorten hospital stays and require fewer high-cost intensive interventions. This can potentially result in a saving of up to £38 million per year
  • According to MIND, only 1 in 3 adults with a common mental health problem are currently getting treatment in the form of talking therapies, medication or both

Financial assistance for mental health treatment

Positive mental health and well-being not only feels good, but helps you cope with everyday stresses, work more productively, and contribute more to your community and personal relationships. 

For most—even for those with private health insurance—struggling with a mental health issue can mean high out of pocket medical expenses. Fortunately, there are several ways you can get financial assistance for therapy.

1. Government assistance for mental health 

In the UK, there are some government benefit options for those who need help accessing mental health services. Keep in mind that government assistance for mental health treatment does come with certain eligibility requirements, typically related to income. 

There are three main ways to get help from the government in the UK for your mental health. 

According to Scope, these are: 

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for people over 16 to State Pension age
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people under 16
  • Attendance Allowance (AA) for people at State Pension age

You can claim only one of these for yourself. 

You could get Attendance Allowance for your mental health if you:

  • are over State Pension age
  • need support, such as keeping yourself safe, during the day or night

There are also 2 benefits you can claim if you cannot work because of your mental health condition:

  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

2. Charities that offer mental health resources

In addition to government aid, several charities also provide financial assistance for people needing mental health care. 

There are several in the UK, including: 

  • MIND – Millions of people have benefited from mental health support from Mind’s network of mental health charities around England and Wales. Local Mind services include befriending, counseling, crisis helplines, talking therapies, employment/training schemes, and drop-in centers.
  • CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) works to help end suicide and suicidal thoughts. CALM is one of the leading charities for men’s mental health. CALM offers web chatlines and phonelines that are manned every day.
  • Young Minds – The organization provides young people with the essential tools and resources to care for their mental health. YoungMinds also empowers parents, carers, teachers, etc., with adequate resources to help their young ones in their mental health journey.

3. Online fundraising for mental health

Wondering how to pay for therapy without breaking the bank? Financial assistance for mental health patients is easily accessible through mental health fundraising on GoFundMe. Starting a fundraiser is easy to set up—and with crowdfunding, there are no applications, eligibility requirements, or long waiting periods to receive funds. 

  • If you’re looking to use the power of social sharing to increase donations, these fundraiser sharing tips will help you spread the word about your fundraiser to more potential donors.

4. Sliding-scale therapists

Many people may opt to see a private therapist as well as care offered on the NHS. They may choose to do this alongside NHS care, or instead of it. 

It can be expensive to receive mental health not available on the NHS. But there are many counselors available who provide mental health financial assistance through a sliding scale-based payment system.

MIND offer practical advice on the positives and negatives of doing this. 

Some private therapists offer a sliding scale of payment depending on your circumstances.

There are two main payment options:

  • Paying the healthcare provider directly. Your healthcare provider should explain any treatment or appointment costs clearly beforehand. Some providers may have payment plans that allow you to pay in installments.
  • Taking out private healthcare insurance. Insurance can cover part or all of the cost of your treatment, depending on your policy. Not all policies cover psychiatric treatment or pre-existing conditions, so before taking out any policy you should check it carefully and make sure you understand what it covers.

5. University mental health services

The demands of university are often stressful, which—if left unchecked—can lead to mental health challenges. Fortunately, lots of universities offer low-cost mental health services to students, in addition to the organizations below.

  • Student Minds is a great hub to consult for information and care available to students
  • Many universities also have a mental health adviser who can help you access the support you need. Find out more on the University Mental Health Advisers Network (UMHAN) website.
  • There are also student-led services, such as Nightline. Nightlines are student-run listening and information services, open at night when other support services may be closed.

6. Online therapy

Quite a few online sites offer low-cost programs and helplines to help people struggling with mental health issues.

You deserve to take care of your mental health

We all deserve to live a life full of happiness and well-being, and finances should never stand in the way of getting the mental health treatment you need. Through medical fundraising, the funds you need to take care of your mental health are quickly and easily within reach. Sign up today and start your own fundraiser, so you can get back to living a life you truly enjoy. 

Written by Brittany Chambers

I believe we all have the power to make a difference. Through informative and heartfelt content, I hope to create change and inspire others to give back to those who need it most.