Now what?
March 30, 2006 10:55 AM   Subscribe

Maybe I have a couple problems. The first one probably stems from the second. Insurance won't cover therapy or medication. Is there any place in Baltimore, MD that offers free or very low-cost assistance? Thank you.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
Chase Brexton Health Services

The wait for counseling there can be a month, but they are very concerned with helping you pay. They are in Mount Vernon, the 1000 block of Cathedral Street. They also would be able to direct you somewhere else if they don't have the right services for you. If the receptionist isn't able to answer your questions, ask to speak to a case manager.
posted by Airhen at 11:04 AM on March 30, 2006

Doesn't Hopkins have a low fee counseling center? Here's a list of treatment centers in Baltimore from Start making calls to find out about sliding scale payments or assistance with fees.
posted by jasper411 at 12:17 PM on March 30, 2006

Well, first of all, if your issue is really acute, if you're seriously contemplating suicide, if you need a reason not to do it right now, you should call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

You can also call Baltimore Crisis Response at (410) 752-2272. They can be called as any hotline would be, in any sort of mental health crisis. If you seem to need it, they will come and talk to you at your home.

First Call for Help is the United Way's referral line, the number is (410) 685-0525. They might be able to help you to figure out a place to go. What they will do is to provide you with a list of counseling centers in Baltimore and you'll have to call around for pricing etc.

The Walter P Carter center at U MD Med Center provides psychiatric services to adults without insurance; I'm not familiar with their intake procedures. The number is (410) 209-6102; the website is here.

Here are the general mental health pages at Md Dept of Heath & Mental Hygiene.

If the alcohol issues are what have you most concerned, AA is a free quasi-therapeutic environment and is very helpful for a lot of people.

Finally, I'm in the mental health field in Baltimore City, and I would be happy to speak with you further via email (in my profile) regarding resources in the city. I might have some other suggestions that I cannot provide here. I can guarantee confidentiality regarding any conversations we might have, unless you 1) provide specifics regarding child or elder abuse or 2) tell me that you are actively thinking about suicide. [Before you email, please consider that I do go to MeFi meetups on occassion.]
posted by OmieWise at 1:48 PM on March 30, 2006

As I understand it, you are alcoholic and depressed, or concerned that you might be.

Alcoholics Anonymous offers a supportive environment, has meetings nearly everywhere that there are people, and doesn't cost anything. If I were you I'd start there. Just look in the phone book or on the internet for the closest meeting.
posted by ikkyu2 at 5:51 PM on March 30, 2006

Last I checked, Chase Brexton was so backlogged/understaffed that they will only provide therapy services to established clients.

The Johns Hopkins Psych Dept has a deal where you can see a psych resident for counseling on a sliding scale or for free, and they see enough drug reps around there that they can give you "samples" (semipermanently, not just on a sample basis) for free if necessary. I am not 100% sure this applies to those with insurance that won't cover therapy.

The outpatient center number is 410-955-6114. I think the person who actually handles the free/low-cost counseling is the head resident of psychiatry (or something like that), Dr. Lee. I'll see if I can get her number tomorrow or if not, on Monday.
posted by needs more cowbell at 6:46 PM on March 30, 2006

Even if the alcohol problem stems from the depression, the alcohol isn't helping.
It is making the depression worse.

When you find a free therapist, they will probably suggest you stop drinking, at least for the short term.
When you find free medication, it will probably have a 'do not mix with alcohol' label.

You have little money, and need help.
Quiting drinking saves money, AA is free, and it is available without a waiting list.

Find a meeting, talk about how you feel, and ask for help.
Even if all you say is that the others there seem old to you, they might be able to tell you where the younger meetings are.
If you don't find help, do it again and again until you find a group that feels right.

(and follow up the other leads for professionals).
posted by yetanother at 1:33 AM on March 31, 2006

I wasn't able to get the number on Friday. I'll get it tomorrow and post it tomorrow evening, or if you may not remember to check this thread so far after it was posted, you can email me and I'll send it to you. My email's in my profile.

(When I first looked into this, I had to speak to a bunch of people before anyone knew about the low-cost counseling. I'm hoping to eliminate that runaround for anyone else.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 4:10 PM on April 2, 2006

Okay, the Johns Hopkins Community Psychiatry Program does counseling with payment on a sliding-scale depending on income. Their number is 410-955-0424. I believe that's different than the program I mentioned before (where you see a psych resident), but I've been told that psych residents will tend to have their schedules booked up already at this point in the year, so the Community progam is probably a better option, unless the sliding-scale fee is too high for you (psych residents can get vouchers to see some patients entirely for free). If that's the case, ask if they can find someone who can squeeze you in...
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:38 PM on April 4, 2006

Also, I should add that it was several months ago that Chase Brexton said that they weren't taking new people; that may have changed.
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:40 PM on April 4, 2006

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