New data from NPR shows that Americans are paying more for mental health care than ever before, and it’s becoming a burden on their finances. With so many out there needing help, getting the care they need can feel overwhelming or impossible, especially when money is tight.

The more Americans reach out for mental health care, the higher the debt burden we all take on. Despite not having subsidized health care, the U.S. pays more per person for medical care than many other countries with single-payer systems.

So why is this happening, and what can we do about it? Here’s what you should know.

The cost of mental health care is on the rise

Mental health care is becoming more expensive than ever before. According to NPR, the cost of mental health services has been rising at a rate that’s faster than the rate of inflation.

In addition, the ripple effect caused by increasing costs leads many to end up further in debt from interest rates, late fees, and other expenses. These extras add up quickly, making it nearly impossible to get out from under debt, which can cause more stress and worsen mental health. It’s no surprise that many are seeking debt management solutions, weighing the benefits of debt avalanche vs. debt consolidation strategies to pay for the care they need.

Mental health care is becoming a necessity

The demand for mental health care is on the rise, and it’s not going to go away any time soon. More and more people are realizing they need help with their mental health, which is increasing demand leading to higher prices for services, and putting a lot of people in debt.

Medical bills aren’t the only costs that go into mental health care

Mental health care doesn’t just cost money on its own; it also costs money on top of medical bills. For example, mental health care can often be required as part of a medical treatment plan. This means that the cost of care is already higher before any medical bills are factored in.

What can we do about it?

For starters, we can try to get more affordable coverage for mental health care. This is something that the government can help with by creating better incentives for insurers and providers. It’s essential to have access to mental health care regardless of your financial situation. That means everyone should have access to affordable mental health clinics and programs.

Also, it’s important to be mindful of how debt affects our mental health. Ignoring the psychological costs debt has to someone already struggling with mental health can lead to even more problems. The more we normalize talking about mental health care, the less stigma will be attached and the more avenues those who need help will have.

Neither is an easy task, but it’s something that we need to start doing if we want to reduce the cost of mental health care and help those who need it the most.

The bottom line

As the cost of mental health care continues to rise, so too does the debt incurred by Americans. This debt can have a devastating impact on our mental health and finances, and it’s something that we need to start paying attention to.