A few weeks ago I shared with you a story by Lesley Alderman at the New York Times on making the most of your mental health insurance benefits. But what about those of you who have postpartum depression or a related illness and who don't have insurance?What if you have very limited mental health benefits? Alderman has written a follow-up columnen titled "How to Find Mental Health Care When Money Is Tight". She writes:

"According to a recent survey by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (Samhsa, pronounced SAM-suh), the leading reason that people with mental health issues don’t seek treatment is cost. They fear the fees."

If you've been reading Postpartum Progress for any length of time, you know that avoiding getting help is not an option when it comes to perinatal mood and anxiety disorders like PPD. Thankfully there are things that you can do that are low-cost or even no-cost.

One of Alderman's suggestions is to join a support group. These are most often free, andpeer supporthas been shown to lessen the symptoms of postpartum depression. You can click here for Postpartum Progress' list of postpartum depression support groups, and here for the list compiled by Postpartum Support International.

Aldermanalso lists free crisis lines like 1-800-273-TALK. Some states offer crisis hotlines specific to postpartum depression. In Illinois, the Jennifer Mudd Houghtaling Foundation has a crisis hotline for people in certain area codes (312, 773, 847, 708, 630, 815) at 1-866-364-MOMS. New Jersey also has a Postpartum Depression Family Healthline at 1-800-328-3838. And Postpartum Support International has a warm-line at 1-800-944-4PPD where you can ask questions during business hours.

I'd like to add a couple of things to Alderman's suggestions. One is to check into clinical trials on PPD. If there is one in your area and you are willing to participate, your care is often free during the period of the trial. You can search for clinical trials on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders here.

Additionally, there arebooks that you may find helpful. One, called the "Pregnancy & Postpartum Anxiety Workbook" by Pamela Weigartz helps you work through feelings of anxiety with the help of easy exercises and worksheets. The book "This Isn't What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression" by Karen Kleiman also offer sbrief self-help worksheets and exercises.

To read Alderman's entire column and see more of her suggestions, click here.

Also, you can click the link for more stories on PPD and health insurance.

Photo credit: © Amy Walters – Fotolia