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By Sarah Klein — Published June 20, 2018
With the celebrity suicides of Kate Space and Anthony Bourdain rocking the nation, mental health is in the forefront of people's minds. The frank and open discussions are helping to reduce the stigma long-associated with depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. The problem is that mental healthcare is nevertheless expensive and isn't always covered by insurance, making accessing these services difficult if you're on a budget. Don't give up, however, because we've researched the best options for finding affordable therapy, counseling, and other mental health services.
Note: If you are feeling suicidal right now, please call the free and confidential 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Check out a community behavioral and mental health clinic.
These clinics offer low-cost counseling services. They often operate on a sliding scale fee. You may see a clinical social worker or a licensed clinical therapist. The YMCA offers low cost counseling, as does Jewish Family Services. Do an internet search for a YMCA or Jewish Family Services in your area for contact information and to make an appointment.
Go to a support group.
For a free support group, check out the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. You can also ask therapists if they offer support groups. Group therapy costs less than private sessions. To find a mental health professional near you, check the Psychology Today website.
Use a therapy app.
If you can't find a therapist in your area or simply want another low-cost option, consider using an app like TalkSpace. TalkSpace has more than 2000 licensed therapists at your disposal, and you'll be matched to one who you can build a relationship with so you don't have to repeat your story each session. Sessions start at just $25 each.
Get a therapy membership.
Open Path Psychotherapy Collective offers a nationwide network of mental health professionals. You can sign up for a lifetime membership, which costs just $49. After that, you can make appointments with any of therapists in the network for the significantly reduced rate of just $30 to $50 per session. A number of therapists also offer sessions online.
Utilize your school's counseling program.
Colleges and universities typically offer mental health services for free or significantly reduced costs. This is typically available for students as well as faculty and staff. Many elementary, middle, and high schools also have school counselors if you are looking for options for child therapy.
Call local therapists and ask if they offer discounts.
You'll be surprised how many local therapists will offer discounts to students or those who have financial need. You won't know if you don't ask though. You can find a local therapist on the Psychology Today website, or you can also ask your doctor for a recommendation.
Find a training clinic.
Before psychologists are allowed to practice on their own after graduating from school, they first must complete supervised practice hours. Because this is a training experience, their services are usually at very reduced rates. To locate a training clinic near you, check out the Association of Psychology Training Clinics.
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