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New York Times: When Money is Tight and You Need Mental Health Care, Go to a Social Worker

Michael B. Friedman. Photo Courtesy of Columbia University.

Michael B. Friedman. Photo Courtesy of Columbia University.

National Association of Social Workers member Michael B. Friedman MSW is quoted in a recent New York Times article, “How to Find Mental Health Care When Money Is Tight.” Friedman said not all mental health problems such as worry over a job loss require a therapist.

The story also recommended folks enlist the services of graduate students in social work or clinical psychology because their fees are often lower. That strategy had the folks here at Social Works Speak! wondering so we decided to ask you this question:

Q: Do you think folks looking for low-cost mental health care should hire social work graduate students or use the services of professional social workers? Please leave comments below.

And to find out how social workers help people overcome mental illness visit the NASW Behavioral Health Web page or the “Help Starts Here” Web page on Mind and Spirit.

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  1. I feel that consumers should seek mental health care from licensed mental health professionals in order to maximize their assurance that they are receiving quality mental heathcare. Graduate students of clinical social work or clinical psychology could be used with greater assurance of receiving quality mental health care, when those graduate students are under the supervision of a licensed mental healthcare provider. Countless therapists offer a sliding fee scale, discount their fees for clients with financial need or provide pro bono service. Affordable mental health treatment can also be found through numerous state, county and local agencies throughout the country. The emergence of online counseling/therapy can also provide mental health services that are conveniently accessed, confidential, anonymous and affordable. I think each individual provider needs to be evaluated by the consumer, based on his or her individual merits, including degrees, certifications, licensure, experience and personal characteristics.

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