The Cost of Mental HealthcareAccessing mental health support can be challenging if you do not have health insurance. The high cost of therapy sessions can hinder individuals from seeking the necessary care. Psychology Today suggests that, on average, one therapy session can cost between $100 to $200 without insurance coverage. According to a recent report by SAMHSA, only 47% of American adults with mental illness receive necessary treatment, with financial barriers identified as a critical factor in delaying care and preventing access. Luckily, many confidential and cost-free resources are available in communities nationwide, including counseling and support services offered by free clinics.
988 LifelineBefore diving into the 11 ways to get free or low-cost mental healthcare, it’s important to note a public program available to all Americans needing emergency mental health support. If you or someone you love is considering self-harm or harm to others, please call 988 right away. This number functions similarly to 911, but you’ll be immediately connected to a trained mental health professional instead of connecting with law enforcement or EMTs. Calling 988 will immediately connect you to one of more than 200 local crisis call centers as part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or SAMHSA’s national helpline. If you’d prefer to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline directly, dial 800-273-8255, and your call will be routed to the appropriate center. At the nearest crisis center, a trained counselor will listen to callers. Calls will be transferred to one of the 16 backup centers if the center is unavailable. But what if you don’t think you’re in a crisis but still need mental health care? Seeking help is essential, regardless of whether you use 988 or not. Not receiving mental health care, like any health problem, may harm your well-being and that of others. Here’s how to get help, regardless of your financial situation.
11 Ways to Find Low-Cost or Free Mental HealthcareAffordable or even free mental health services are available for those who don’t want to compromise their care or suffer from debt due to medical bills. Consider these alternative options to find accessible care now.
Training ClinicsAs with other aspects of healthcare, aspiring clinical psychologists must gain practical experience working with patients before entering the profession. Luckily for those seeking affordable counseling, training clinics can offer access to these opportunities. Typically situated near or attached to universities, these clinics pair patients with graduate students who licensed psychologists supervise. The fees for services are often calculated based on a sliding scale, potentially allowing patients to receive therapy for little to no cost. To find a training clinic near you, browse the member clinics listed on the Association of Psychology Training Clinics website. Additionally, a quick Google search using the phrase “(your city) psychology training clinic” can lead you to options in your area. Don’t hesitate to start your search for quality mental health resources today.
Community Mental Health CentersMental health concerns can be challenging to face alone, but community mental health centers offer valuable resources to help. You can find the support you need, from support groups to individual counseling. To find a center in your area, visit your state’s Department of Human Services website. Private nonprofit organizations like the YMCA offer low-cost and sliding-scale behavioral health and family services for children and adults. Look to your local Y for mental health services today.
Support GroupsSupport groups offer a cost-effective alternative to private therapy, providing a valuable resource for individuals seeking emotional support and guidance. Whether you’re struggling with substance abuse or depression, some groups offer effective support options at no cost. These groups include:
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
- Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
- The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)
- The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)