Millions Suffer from Psychological Distress — and Many Can’t Afford Help

mental health
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As if being middle-aged isn’t stressful enough, now I have a something else to be concerned about.

Adults between the ages of 45 and 50 (that’s me!) are the newest group to be considered at high risk for mental illness and suicide, according to a survey published earlier this month in medical journal Psychiatric Services.

We Gen Xers and baby boomers aren’t alone in our unhappiness, either.

More than 8.3 million American adults suffer from serious psychological distress (SPD). That’s more than 3% of the U.S. population.

“Based on our data, we estimate that millions of Americans have a level of emotional functioning that leads to lower quality of life and life expectancy,” says lead study investigator Judith Weissman. “Our study may also help explain why the U.S. suicide rate is up to 43,000 people each year.”

It’s Hard To Find Good Help

Even more distressing is that access to mental health care is becoming more difficult every day.

The survey indicates more than 10% of people aren’t getting the treatment they need because they don’t have adequate mental health coverage. Almost 10% also say they can’t afford to pay for their psychiatric medicines.

“Until we begin to provide the resources and the mental health care providers, as well as screening and treatment, we won’t curtail the tide of mental illness,” Weissman told The Huffington Post.

Where to Find Free or Cheap Mental Health Services

If you’re suffering from SPD or any other mental health issues, you know getting the treatment you need can be difficult and expensive.

  • Check out our list of resources that cover everything from where to find a training clinic to how to negotiate a discount on your medical bill.
  • There are several mental health apps on the market to help you get by between appointments with your mental health professional.

Managing SPD, mental illness, stress and anxiety can be a challenge, but it’s important to seek treatment to help you live life to its fullest.

Remember, you aren’t alone in the struggle — there are over 8.3 million other people walking a similar path.

Your turn: What free or low cost mental health services are available in your area?

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s always looking for fresh tips on health and wellness resources to share with readers. Look her up on Twitter @lisah to share yours.