I know most of the people reading this article are either mental health professionals or students. But in case you are neither, let me ask you a question.
How much do you think a trip to the therapist costs?
If you know the answer, good for you. If you don’t, let me help you a little. You see, for a long time I avoided seeing a therapist because I thought it was really expensive. I knew that I would probably need more than a couple of sessions and would shudder at the thought of the accumulated cost.
While some of the psychologists (experienced, highly recommended) are in fact expensive, there are therapist who are affordable and approachable. The average an affordable therapist in any of the metro cities would charge lies somewhere between 1500- 2000 INR per session. While that figure would be okay for some, there are some people who would call that expensive as well. I understand that, I have been where they are.
I’m not writing this piece because I want to justify the fees of a therapist. There are a lot of people out there who shy away from getting help for their problems because of financial issues or because they have no awareness as to how to go about it. You see, there is a conception in the minds of the masses that mental health treatment is expensive and takes a lot of time. If you consider the per capita income of India, it probably is out of reach for many.
Ngo’s and some establishments have cooperated to set up free help lines but they only help to some extent. The more serious issues require the intervention of an experienced therapist over a considerable period of time and medication. The sad reality is that many people in the masses who have issues can’t actually afford that.
Who’s to blame for that?
There are a lot of people out there who are more equipped to answer this question, so I’ll refrain from doing so. There are people in this country who can’t afford treatment for physical ailments that lead to certain death, where do you think they’ll find money for matters of the mind.