The Narrator Alliance is committed to de-stigmatizing both mental illness and the therapeutic process.
If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, loneliness, or isolation, know that there is a community ready to receive and support you. A great place to start is NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness). You can find them at: https://www.nami.org/Home.
Our Alliance encourages all its members to seek professional support for emotional
and mental health challenges whenever they may need them. Here are some resources to get you started in finding a therapist!
If you are covered under the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan, here is a step by step guide to generating a list of covered therapists in your area:
Step 1. Visit: https://www.sagaftraplans.org
Step 2. Select: the “Benefits” tab.
Step 3. Select:
Step 4. Enter your location and how far out you would like to search. Under “Provider Search Criteria” select “Counselor-Masters Level”.
Make sure to indicate the boxes for any areas of expertise you’d like them to have, language capabilities and cultural background. All are important in finding someone who really gets where you’re coming from.
Step 5. With the generated list, look up some of the providers on www.psychologytoday.com where you can learn a little more about who they are and what their focus is. (Reba here: I recommend you contact 2-3 counselors to start to ask about setting up an appointment. You will find that some already have full practices/schedules so casting your net a bit wider is always wise.)
* In-Network therapy visits have a $25 copay. You do not need to meet your deductible for these visits.
If you cannot find anyone covered by insurance who feels like a good fit (trust me, it happens a lot) you are covered for "Out of Network" visits at 70% after a $500 deductible. This means you can see any therapist you like, pay them in full up front, and submit a Superbill to Beacon Health Options for reimbursement. Therapists are very familiar with giving clients Superbills. Depending on the way therapists process their billing they may give you one after every session or once a month. You can file claims after every visit or save up a couple months worth and submit them all together.
(NOTE: If you have enrolled your spouse in the SAG AFTRA health plan, Beacon may not be automatically notified. There have been some reported lapses in communication between the two companies. To avoid having a claim denied, give Beacon a call before your spouse schedules a mental health appointment and make sure they are updated with any necessary Coordination of Benefits forms.)
Step 1. Navigate to the SAG-AFTRA Beacon Health Options website. Log in to “My Site”.
Step 2. Select “Claims, Benefits, Coverage & Authorizations” → “Claims” → “My Claims” →“Submit Claims Online”.
Step 3. Follow the prompts to upload the pertinent information. You will need: A digital copy of your Superbill, your provider's tax ID number, the date of service, the service code, the cost of service, and the diagnosis code.
Step 4. After submitting, Beacon will send you a reimbursement check in approximately 4-6 weeks.
Open Path Collective
Many therapists, as an act of goodwill, keep a couple slots open in their practice for sliding scale patients. Open Path is a service that connects therapists with sliding scale availability with the people who really need it. You become a member with a one time, $59 fee. The therapists you find are in your area and available for in-person therapy $30-$60/session.
Local Low-Cost Clinics (Based on Ability to Pay)
Throughout the country, low-cost mental health clinics exist to serve the community and train the next generation of therapists. Here you will be seeing pre-licensed therapists who have completed their school and are working on accumulating enough clinical hours to take their board exams. They are always under close supervision by licensed therapists. The cost to you will be based on your ability to pay.
Remote, Online Therapy
(Reba here.) Here’s the thing: You’ve probably seen a LOT of ads on the internet for something called BetterHelp. I’ll admit, I am biased, and I am not a fan. A visit to their website will tell you that BetterHelp therapists are making $15-$25/hour for their services when a therapist should be making at MINIMUM $50-$100/hr. All that extra money they are saving by exploiting their employees... they are spending on advertising. No wonder you’ve heard of them.
But they are not the only game in town. Virtual clinics are popping up all over the place, and if you live somewhere where it is hard to find many clinicians, this could be a great option for you
*If anyone has updates/amendments to make to this resource, please let us know!