Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, there were countless people across the country who, for various reasons, were not they can get the mental health care they need. Now, after more than a year of economic, physical, psychological and emotional difficulties, more and more people find themselves in a situation where they are actively seeking some kind of therapy or mental health counseling.
In particular, the number of people dealing with symptoms of depression or anxiety has tripled or quadrupled since the onset of the pandemic., according to research by Kaiser Family Foundation. Although more people are realizing that they could benefit from the therapy, it is generally a step in the right direction, unfortunately, finding a therapist – let alone one that is affordable – has become an even greater challenge.
But we are beginning to see this change, as mental health support is slowly becoming more accessible to some. For example, CVS Pharmacy now offers mental health counseling at some of its retail stores. Here’s what you need to know about the program and how to take advantage of it.
How to get a mental health consultation at CVS
The National Pharmacy Chain launched its pilot mental health program in January 2021 in a dozen stores in Houston, Philadelphia and Tampa, and plans to continue distributing it nationwide throughout the year. NPR reports.
Walmart launched a similar program back in 2018 and there are now 20 places with mental health clinics across the country. At present, mental health services are only available in pharmacies with CVS in Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas, but the program will continue to expand.
It is not yet clear exactly how much it will cost to consult CVS, with the exception of those with Aetna insurance (which is owned by CVS), who will receive the service for free. And, NPR reports, CVS has negotiated deals with other insurance companies to reduce the cost of therapy. It is not yet clear how much the session will cost for those who do not have health insurance.