Paying for Care
When you first call or come in, we will ask you how you plan to pay for your care–whether you want to pay out-of-pocket, use insurance, Health First Colorado (Medicaid), CHP+, or Medicare. If you are concerned about paying for treatment, we offer discounted fees for clients who qualify. No one will be denied treatment based on inability to pay. Please bring proof of income to your first appointment if you are seeking assistance with payment. If you are using insurance, please bring your insurance, Health First Colorado (Medicaid), CHP+, or Medicare cards with you. Learn more about applying for Health First Colorado (Medicaid) or insurance here.
Your First Appointment
When you first come in, we will discuss how you are feeling and what might be causing your distress. This first appointment is often called an “assessment” or “intake.” A behavioral health professional will do this evaluation and will help you define your goals for treatment and wellness.
You will share information about your own and family behavioral health history, living situation, medical problems, and current condition.
What to Expect When Visiting a Therapist
Here’s a short video that will tell you what it’s like to visit a therapist, and some answers to questions you might have.
Answers to questions you may have about visiting a therapist.
Q: How do I know when I should see a therapist?
A: We all experience times that make us feel sad, happy, frustrated, anxious, confused, and angry. Depending on how long these last, how strong these feelings are, or how we respond, we might need help.
Having a bad day or feeling stress when faced with a tough situation is normal. Divorce, having a baby, the death of a loved one, losing or starting a new job, or having important plans fall apart can create lots of dramatic feelings, but these are normal. But feelings that don’t go away, get steadily worse, frighten us, affect our important relationships, or make us act or abuse substances in dangerous, self-destructive, or odd ways are not normal and need treatment.
Q: What causes mental illness? How common is it?
A: Mental illness and addiction are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character, or poor parenting. These challenges can happen to people of all ages, races, religions, and income levels. Your behavioral health comes from a recipe made up of your past experiences, what you’ve learned about coping and making choices, and even your biological makeup — how chemicals in your brain help you to think and feel. Hormones, nutrition, physical health, drug or alcohol use, medications, and many other “ingredients” also impact how you feel and respond to others.
One in four people suffer from a behavioral health challenge like mental illness or addiction. Depression and anxiety are very common. Just like physical problems, mental health issues vary in severity and duration. We all need to treat these challenges as we treat other health problems, and not be ashamed to seek help.
Q: How old should one be to visit a therapist?
A: Anyone of any age can face emotional and mental health problems. Some therapists are expert at certain ages or groups. Centers like ours often see young children and their parents, adolescents with and without their parents, young adults, middle-aged people, and seniors – our services are for all ages.
Q: Can families come in for therapy?
A: Family dynamics can be complicated and bewildering, and no family is perfect. Sometimes, families may need guidance and new skills to help them through a particular crisis or event. Some families want to find ways to calm the constant anger and strife caused by a troubled teenager or parent. A good therapist can help you understand the issues at the heart of family conflict, which is often the first step to healing, but more importantly, help you identify and practice skills and approaches that improve family relationships.
Q: How do I find a therapist?
A: You can find a good therapist or psychiatrist in several ways – you can ask your friends, look in one of the many directories on the internet, or ask your family physician for ideas or referrals. If you have insurance, you can check your coverage for a therapist on your plan.
Q: What will they ask me when I call to ask about an appointment?
A: Often, when you call, a receptionist or intake coordinator will ask you a little bit about how you are feeling so that he or she can make sure you are placed with the right kind of therapist and receive the most appropriate treatment. You may be asked how you’ve heard of the therapist and how you’d like to pay for the services.
Q: How much does it cost, and how do I pay?
A: That can vary widely, so always ask before you make the appointment. When you go to your first appointment, be sure to bring your insurance, Health First Colorado (Medicaid), or Medicare cards with you.
But if you don’t have insurance, we will work with you to figure out how to pay for treatment using a sliding fee scale. You should bring proof of income to your first appointment if you are seeking assistance with payment. We believe one should never avoid treatment because of the cost.
If you have a plan under the Affordable Care Act, your insurance must cover mental health and substance use disorder services. Just like a physical health appointment, you may be asked to pay a co-payment or pay until you reach your deductible. Your insurance card or company should be able to tell you exactly what’s covered. Health First Colorado (Medicaid), CHP+, and Medicare also cover these services.
Q: What is the first visit like?
A: When you first come in, a therapist will discuss how you are feeling and what might be causing your distress. This first appointment is often called an “assessment” or “intake.” You will probably share information about your own and family behavioral health history, living situation, medical problems, and current condition.
A good therapist will make sure you help lead the discussion and direct the therapy. You should never have to share anything that you don’t want to. You may uncover feelings or have insights that make you uncomfortable, but a good therapist will always try to make sure that you feel in control.
Q: What kinds of counseling services are there?
A: When most people think of therapy, they imagine lying on a couch or sitting in a chair, alone in the room with a therapist. But the reality is that most therapists will just try to make sure you feel comfortable.
However, there are other kinds of therapy too: you may find that you start with individual therapy, but then bring in members of your family or your partner in order to address problems in those relationships or add additional support. We offer group therapy, which is also very effective. In group therapy, you can experience the give-and-take of emotional support from others who may be experiencing many of the same feelings you are, which could mean you’ll feel less alone in your depression, anxiety, anger, shame, or fear. Group therapy often helps people clarify their own thinking about their feelings and learn new coping strategies.
Some centers like ours also offer crisis services, in case you feel as if you might hurt yourself or others and require acute (higher level) care. Skilled crisis staff can provide compassionate care and services to support people during treatment and will help them find the right services after they are discharged from care. While facing a crisis is frightening to all concerned, it is often the first step toward positive change. And some centers, like North Range Behavioral Health, offer detox and inpatient residential substance use disorder treatment.
Q: What happens in therapy?
A: If you are open to it, you will find out more about your mental or emotional health or addiction. You will learn coping strategies and get insight into your own responses to stress and problems, and you may talk about ways to address past trauma. You may even have “homework” where you practice new skills and responses, or learn about community resources that can help you in treatment. A good therapist will help you define your own goals for treatment and what your own recovery looks like.
Q: Will I get medications?
A: One must see a doctor – often a psychiatrist or family physician—or a prescribing nurse like a Nurse Practitioner, or Physician’s Assistant to get medications. However, many people do not need medications: “talk” therapy is enough to help some people address their current challenges. Many therapists are connected to medical staff to help you determine if you need medication, and they should work with you to prescribe the appropriate one, and monitor your progress.
Q: How long will I have to go to a therapist? How will I know when I’m done?
A: You are the best person to judge when you’ve reached your recovery goals you’ve set with your therapist. That could mean two visits, four, or a regular weekly or monthly or even yearly “checkup.” Sometimes, people suffer from serious and persistent mental illness and must get continual treatment and support.
Whether you go once or regularly, take your behavioral health seriously, just as you should your physical health. It can make all the difference in how you enjoy your relationships, your work – your life.
Your provider will work with you—as well as anyone else you wish—to set short- and long-term goals for treatment. Your Service Plan will become the map for your treatment. Your goals may include:
- Finding out more about your mental illness or addiction/substance use disorder
- Learning new ways to cope with your symptoms
- Recovering from trauma of an event or a psychotic episode
- Safe detoxification from drugs or alcohol
- Identifying community resources to aid in treatment
Types of Care
Outpatient. Outpatient care can take many forms. Most commonly, it includes individual, group, or family therapy. Most treatment and medication checks happen in our offices, but some people receive services in a school, community location, drop-in center, or one of our residential programs. Providers work together to develop the right treatment approach for you.
Medications. Medications can help you cope with the symptoms of many disorders. If your symptoms might be helped by medication, you may see a medical team member. If medications are prescribed, a medical professional will explain their names, functions, dosages, therapeutic benefits, side effects, and risks.
Inpatient or Acute Treatment. A 24-hour setting may be recommended during periods of acute symptoms. Inpatient treatment may occur in the psychiatric unit of a hospital, in our Acute Treatment Unit (ATU) for mental health issues, or in our True North Adult Intensive Services program for addiction disorders.
Detoxification. We provide safe detoxification services from drugs and alcohol in our social detox facility and can refer clients for medical detoxification when necessary. Detoxification is often the first step in the journey of recovery.
“I have learned how to manage my emotions in a positive way….I now believe in myself. Talking to people I trust has helped me greatly.” – Noelle
What Families Need to Know
North Range Behavioral Health encourages our clients to involve their family members in treatment whenever appropriate; however, the individual or guardian has choices about whom and how much the family members are involved, if at all. A release of information will be necessary before this involvement can occur.
More information about client confidentiality can be found below and here.
What you tell your provider is private; any information about your behavioral health is called “Protected Health Information.”
This means we will share your information with your permission, and in the following situations:
- To collaborate on your care with other healthcare providers
- To coordinate payment with insurance providers
- To research how our members use services, to provide better care
- To collect data about disorders or disease for public health authorities
- To report threats or danger to health or safety to law enforcement
- If required by court-order
You have many rights as a consumer of health care at North Range Behavioral Health. Click here for a full list of those rights.
Paying for Care
Do you have medical insurance, Health First Colorado (Medicaid), or Medicare? Health First Colorado (Medicaid) and Medicare and most insurance providers offer coverage for mental health and substance use disorder treatment. Check with your insurance provider to find out what your benefits are; we can also help you determine your coverage.
No insurance? Those with low income and no insurance may be eligible for reduced fees. Proof of income is required. The State of Colorado does offer assistance for adults and children with low incomes: click here for more information.
Paying for children? Parents are responsible for the treatment costs of their child(ren), though children 15 and over may seek treatment without parental involvement. Departments of Human Services with custody of a child, however, can arrange for Health First Colorado (Medicaid), which will pay for medically necessary treatment and medications.
If the individual under care is an adult, his or her family is not responsible for payment for any treatment, emergency or on-going. However, the family may still seek the best treatment options. If the illness requires long-term treatment and insurance is not available, it may be necessary to apply for public assistance.
See our Frequently Asked Questions for more information about payment considerations and options.
Your visits to North Range Behavioral Health should be as pleasant and easy as possible. If possible, arrive 15 minutes early for your first appointment to make sure you have time to fill out paperwork.