Originally Posted by CaptainPeanuts
I think the US has better doctors than Canada, but it costs money down there and its free up here for mental health support.
I'm gonna have to correct you here. Don't want people getting the wrong impression of Glorious Canuckistan.
Not all mental health support is free here. Crisis lines are free. And you can go into the ER/GP and they'll refer you to a psychiatrist and the doctor will write you a prescription, but you still have to pay for the meds. What you get free here is an evaluation and a signature on a prescription. (And maybe a bed in a ward if you're really bad off.) Even if I wanted meds, I couldn't afford to take them.
I had a lot of trouble getting psych support, personally. (I'm sure it would have been easy if I were having a psychotic episode, though. The police will come right to your door in that case.) It took me 3 years to get a family doctor and the walk-in clinics refuse to treat mental health disorders. The clinic wouldn't even refer me to a psychiatrist. They couldn't even tell me where to go for support. They literally had no answer for me.
I could have gone to the ER, but considering my OCD is triggered by places like that, it wasn't something I wanted to do. I had to call multiple support lines before I finally found out about a mental health walk-in clinic here (which only takes walk-ins one day a week). I went there and had to pay for a consultation (which was scary enough). Fortunately, they knocked the price from $130 to $15 because I'm borderline homeless.
Also very fortunately for me, my therapist has a handful of "free" slots available, and when she heard about my situation she opted to use one to give me pro bono therapy. But if I hadn't lucked out, I'd be paying for every session. (And if I were taking drugs, I'd be paying for meds on top of that.) Most people would have to pay full price for a therapist, which is around $130-150 an hour here. So if you need more than a doctor to write prescriptions (which is not going to solve most problems) you could be looking at hundreds of dollars a month for therapy in Canada. (It's probably comparable in the States.) That's not free. Ofc, some people have health insurance and can get some of these costs covered, but health insurance is extremely expensive and I can't afford it. If you're paying for health insurance, you're not getting free healthcare.
Sorry for the rant, I just get a little annoyed when people think that Canada has "free healthcare." It's not free for a lot of people. I can't afford most of the healthcare I need (dental, optometry, dermatology, prescription drugs, hormones, therapy) and there are tens of thousands of other Canadians who can't afford that stuff, either. Free visits to the hospital and free GP visits are nice, though. I won't argue there.
Edit: It's also extremely hard to get disability for mental health issues here. I get the impression that it's actually easier in at least some of the states. It's not possible to get disability for something like anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD, or many other disorders here. You need, at minimum, a history of psychotic episodes. And you have to be considered incapable of taking care of yourself. There are more enlightened places in the world that will give disability even for something like social anxiety.