Mental Health Matters: Why is therapy so expensive? What do youngsters think?

With various platforms and counsellors/psychotherapists offering offline and online therapy, clients now have a wide range of options
Is it expensive? | (Pic: EdexLive)
Is it expensive? | (Pic: EdexLive)

Positive mental health is crucial and profoundly impacts every aspect of life, but remains a low-priority issue. Even after mental health has made it to dinner table conversations, Indians are still apprehensive about getting help. A recent study conducted by a mental health community, Amaha Health, in association with Youth Ki Awaaz, found that up to 40 per cent of people who seek help for mental health issues do so pretty late, because they consider treatment too expensive. The New Indian Express tries to find out why therapy is considered expensive.

Clinical psychologist Sunny Joseph said therapy charges are considered high because mental health is not a priority for people. "When people suffer from physical ailments, they immediately go to a doctor, but don't think mental health is a priority and neglect it. The ratio of therapists to patients is extremely skewed, and over an hour is invested in each patient. Per hour charges are applied, which is why it may seem expensive." He added that while online sessions are convenient, he prefers in-person sessions because they are crucial in the healing process.

A young adult, on condition of anonymity, said, "I went to many therapists before I found the right one who would understand and help me. I would prefer a delay in help to the wrong kind."

The average age group of people seeking help is between 25 and 40, and one session lasting between 50 minutes to one hour can cost between Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,500. Doctors also observed that many people find it difficult to stick to the treatment plan.

Shuchi Sen, consultant psychotherapist at Amaha Health, told The New Indian Express, "I have seen clients drop out of therapy not only because of the cost, but also because it is hard to give that kind of time and effort. I believe therapy is expensive not because of the consultation fee but because of the commitment and regularity it demands to achieve the desired goals."

With various platforms and counsellors/psychotherapists offering offline and online therapy, clients now have a wide range of options, based on fee structure, unlike in the past.

Dr Athulya Jayakumar from Therapeute said the price needs to be compared in relativity. "A doctor who spends 10 minutes on a patient may charge less than the one spending an hour. Also, when you compare prices with other countries, India is among the most affordable, which is why clients from other countries seek online sessions with us."

Poor mental health is proven to have adverse effects on your physical health and reduce your confidence as an individual, which is why mental health needs to be made a priority, said Jeevita, another trainee counsellor. "Asking for help is a sign of strength. The earlier someone is diagnosed, better are the chances of full recovery."

Related Stories

No stories found.