Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there were countless people across the country who, for various reasons, were not able to get the mental health help they needed. Today, after more than a year of economic, physical, psychological and emotional hardship, a growing number of people have found themselves in a position where they are actively seeking some type of mental health therapy or counseling.
Specifically, the number of people with symptoms of depression or anxiety has tripled or quadrupled since the start of the pandemic, according to research by Kaiser Family Foundation. While more people realize that they could benefit from therapy is, overall, a step in the right direction, unfortunately, finding a therapist – let alone an affordable therapist – has become even more difficult. .
But we’re starting to see this shift as mental health support gradually becomes more accessible to some. For example, CVS Pharmacy now offers mental health counseling in 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 mental health counseling at CVS
The national drugstore chain launched its pilot mental health program in January 2021 at a dozen stores in Houston, Philadelphia and Tampa, with the intention of continuing to roll it out across the country throughout the year, NPR Reports.
Walmart launched a similar program back in 2018 and now has 20 locations with mental health clinics across the country. At this point, mental health services are only available at CVS pharmacies in Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas, but the program will continue to expand.
It is still not clear exactly how much the CVS board will cost, except for those with Aetna insurance (which is owned by CVS) who will benefit from the service at no cost. And, NPR Reports, CVS has negotiated agreements with other insurance companies to reduce the cost of therapy. It is still unclear how much a session will cost for those without health insurance.