I was first introduced to the world of psychotherapy in college, when my bestie and then-future roommate started seeing the school's lone therapist. That was my junior year, and while I wasn't going through anything specific, I think even I knew in the back of my head that I had emerged from some kind of depression the year before. In any case, I would next see a therapist during and after my separation, and then intermittently from that point on, with some pretty long gaps here and there. I started up again a few years into our Florida adventure when work and parenting became a bit much to deal with without some help to figure out how to manage it all.
My last streak was late last year, with my last appointment in February of this year. When I pinged my therapist last week, she indicated that she wasn't really seeing people anymore, because she had quickly expanded into a small wellness empire with a dozen people in two locations. I thought she bailed because she had seen too much in the last year, but it turned out to be the opposite.
So she referred me to one of the people in her practice, and I met with her (virtually) for the first time last week. My initial impression is good, and I think she'll get me. I've done this for so long that I have a pretty good strategy to get the most for the money (which work coverage only covers so far), setting some high level agendas toward the things I want to address. In this case, I agreed to do several straight weeks and then go to more of a monthly cadence, in order to set a good baseline for her to get to know me and set some goals for myself.
You don't need to be suicidal to take mental health seriously, and I think it's fucked up that our society doesn't see that. You would think the last year, in the pandemic, would make that obvious, but I'm surprised at how few people see it and acknowledge it.
The troubling thing is that this is largely a luxury thing, and it shouldn't be. I have literally the best healthcare coverage of anyone I know (no payroll deduction, plus a reimbursement account for co-pays and deductibles), but it still isn't enough to cover what our family needs. Simon's ADHD meds alone cost nearly a hundred bucks a month after insurance. People working service jobs don't have access to even that, or likely can't afford medications like that. And don't get me started about insulin for diabetics. The system is so broken.