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The importance of making mental health care more accessible

Mental health rates in the US were already high before the COVID-19 pandemic came and magnified stressors, leading to an increase in anxiety and depression across the nation. As people dealt with illnesses, isolation, grief, and job losses, access to mental health care became more crucial than ever. Yet many realized the lack of mental health care, particularly those in marginalized communities and rural areas. In this Pacific Prime article, we look at the importance of making mental health care more accessible and offer some tips to prioritize your mental health.

Improving the mental health care system

With the COVID-19 pandemic putting the spotlight on the problems with the mental health care system, healthcare providers, stakeholders, and politicians are called to reevaluate mental health care and delivery.

Access to mental health care

Even though mental health care is widely recognized as a civil right, that doesn’t mean everyone can easily get it. Cost is a major factor as mental health care can be expensive. On top of that, many mental health practitioners won’t accept insurance. That means most people who can access therapy are paying for it out of pocket. Until universal health care is a reality, improving access to care rests in the hands of mental care organizations.

Along with cost, the stigma surrounding mental illness prevents people from reaching out for help – and is something that organizations also must address. But stigma is far from the only problem when it comes to mental health in rural America, as over 35 million US citizens in rural areas cannot access a mental health provider.


A promising solution lies in telehealth, which quickly became adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The technology makes it possible to health care professionals to talk to their patients without being in the same place. Not only does it save time and money spent on traveling, but it also offers more opportunities for connecting healthcare providers and patients that would otherwise be challenging or even impossible.

With that said, access is still an issue. While a person doesn’t need to be in the same physical space to receive care, that doesn’t mean much if they don’t have an internet connection, a safe space to call from, or an electronic device. They may also not be familiar with using technology in general.

Further reading: Does telehealth work in emergency medicine?

Supporting providers

Provider burnout is a very real issue that must also be addressed. Out of 20,000 healthcare workers, 49% experienced burnout while another 43% battled work overload. Additionally, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) providers that care for their own communities are some of the most deeply affected. Black, Latinx, and female workers, in particular, reported high levels of stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With more mental health professionals reporting burnout and a record high of those leaving clinical practice, the importance of mental health care is more evident than ever. Pandemic-related setbacks have made it more challenging to keep employees who are burned out – especially those who feel undervalued.

Further reading: Mental health in the workplace: 7 proven ways to beat burnout

Taking charge of one’s mental health

Along with increasing access to care, it’s vital to empower individuals to tackle their own issues. Mental health equity is much more achievable when communities can engage in their own care, and empowering them to solve their own issues can be incredibly effective. Here are some practical tips for taking your health into your own hands to start.

Be proactive

Taking charge of your wellness journey is a must if you’re serious about being healthy. We can’t always wait for healthcare providers to tell us when something is wrong. When you trust yourself and your feelings, it’s easier to reach out for help.

Work on mindfulness

Optimal health requires effort, including nurturing your overall wellbeing. Mindful activities that help with the mind-body connection can do wonders for your health and wellness. Meditation isn’t the only option, as being mindful can be as simple as watching your thoughts when they drift off and gently bringing them back to the present or being more aware as you perform your daily tasks.

Choose the right provider

Looking for a new provider can be a daunting task depending on your insurance provider, location, or preference. However, it’s imperative to find a provider that you can trust, especially if you’re dealing with anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues. You want to find a qualified provider who understands your symptoms, concerns, health goals, and treatment history.

Put yourself first with Pacific Prime

Nobody knows your body and mind like you do. Even if you’re the kind of person who always thinks about other people before yourself, the “put your own life jacket on first” rule applies to life. You cannot help others without helping yourself first. One way that you can do that is by investing in health insurance with mental health benefits.

But with so many options on the market, looking for the right insurance plan to meet your needs and budget can be overwhelming and confusing. That’s why it helps to work with a reputable broker like Pacific Prime. Whether you’re looking for international health insurance, family health insurance, or other types of insurance, our insurance experts and value-added services ensure that you get the quality care you deserve.

Contact us for impartial advice and a free plan comparison today!

Senior Copywriter at Pacific Prime
Jantra Jacobs is a Senior Copywriter at Pacific Prime with over 10 years of writing and editing experience. She writes and edits a diverse variety of online and offline copy, including sales and marketing materials ranging from articles and advertising copy to reports, guides, RFPs, and more.

Jantra curates and reports on the results of Pacific Prime’s monthly newsletters, as well as manages Pacific Prime’s Deputy Global CEO’s LinkedIn posts. Complemented by her background in business writing, Jantra’s passion for health, insurance, and employee benefits helps her create engaging content - no matter how complex the subject is.

Growing up as a third-culture kid has given her a multicultural perspective that helps her relate to expats and their families while 8 years of working remotely have given her unique insight into hybrid work arrangements and enthusiasm for employee benefits.
Jantra Jacobs
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