Friday, May 31, 2024

More Options, Less Stigma: Dr. Olivia West Is Breaking Mental Health Barriers

It’s easier to break a leg than a stigma, especially when therapy costs more than an ER visit.

Currently, there are so many barriers and stigmas surrounding mental health and mental health treatment that prevent people from getting appropriate care. Treatments such as therapy or medications can be expensive and otherwise inaccessible.

Let’s take a look at some typical barriers and their potential solutions:


There are societal/social aspects of life that have a profound impact on one’s mental health. The general perception of mental illness from society is not typically supportive, which can lead to one hiding their illness and refusing to get treatment, resulting in it getting worse. 

One potential solution is through education. Dr. Olivia West, also known as Dr. O, is one such licensed counselor and mental health professional working to break down mental health barriers through education. 

When people have a thorough understanding of issues, there is less shame around those experiencing them and easier access to help. 


A big obstacle to obtaining mental healthcare is the cost of it. For example, in the state of Florida, $100 to $200 per hour is the average cost of a therapy session with a licensed professional. 

The potential solutions for this problem are not as straightforward as the others. It could be influenced by government programs, such as nationally provided insurance that could help cover the cost of treatment. A provider may have flexible payment options. However, that is heavily dependent on the practice and their policies.

Out of the Box Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting, founded by Dr. Olivia West, is one such organization with a mission to make private practice mental healthcare affordable for all. They accept all major insurance, out-of-network, EAP, and offer sliding scale payment options.


Perhaps you live in a location that lacks practices offering the appropriate treatment for you, or the closest one is not a reasonable commute. Rural areas tend to lack certain infrastructure to support easy public transportation, such as buses or trains. 

A potential solution to this is telehealth. This allows providers to connect with patients over large distances and conduct work remotely as long as those involved have a connection to the internet.  

Telehealth is only feasible if one has sustainable internet access. Thus, Dr. O and Out of the Box Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting are fundraising for a Charter bus to use as a mobile office to bring in-person therapy to those without access.

Lack of Support Network

A support network is one’s family, friends, and peers. However, many circumstances in life could change one’s social connections. When one’s support network shrinks, it is difficult to get it back quickly. This brings about feelings of isolation and sadness, which is to be expected. 

A potential solution to this problem is to connect with people you have not before. If you’re in school, this could be a person in a class that you have rarely spoken to before. There’s a great chance to forge a connection with them and grow your relationships with peers. 

Dr. O founded Out of the Box Counseling, Coaching, & Consulting. Their mission, according to their website: “To provide Quality and Affordable Private Practice mental healthcare to all despite socio-economic status, race, creed, color, identity, orientation, language, ability, disability, age, sex, or origin, while also maintaining a sublime Quality of Life for our clinicians.

Dr. O is breaking stigmatization and barriers by providing affordable and accessible private practice mental healthcare through individual, couples, family, and group therapy services for ages 3 and over. Out of the Box Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting accepts all major insurance, EAP, and offers sliding scale payment options. They offer in-office and telehealth globally as well as in-office and in the community in Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee with more locations coming soon. They also offer support networks through group therapy and retreats.

These barriers and more are all taken into consideration when you step into Out of the Box. So, if you need substantial and long-lasting growth – professionally and/or personally – connect with Dr. O and Out of the Box Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting.


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