When it comes to taking charge of your mental health, finding a therapist is a big step. However, mental illness – like depression and anxiety – usually takes some time to heal. Most people require an average of five to ten sessions while meeting with their therapist weekly.
This means that, in addition to being a commitment, therapy can be costly. Fortunately, for people who lack the means to shell out a lot of cash, cost-effective services are available. In this article, we have outlined these services.
Affordable Mental Healthcare Options
1. Sliding Scale Therapists
Sliding scale therapists adjust their hourly fees to make their services affordable to their clients. This type of therapist can be ideal if you have to pay out of pocket.
While all mental health service providers know how to treat concerns like adjustment disorders, depression, and anxiety, not all specialize in cases like PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), complicated grief, and postpartum depression. People looking for treatment for particular mental health issues can benefit from finding a specialist who is willing to slide their scale.
2. Low Income or Free Services
If you can’t pay for your therapy session out of pocket, taking advantage of free or low-fee community mental health clinics may be a good idea.
The clinics are usually staffed with psychologists and psychotherapists but can expand their services via the use of student mental health counselors, student social workers, and student psychologists (see here for the difference between social work and counseling). Experienced and licensed professionals supervise students. In the clinics, services are offered at remarkably low rates or at no cost.
At the clinics, mental health professionals usually offer a variety of services, including family and individual counseling, drug addiction counseling, and medication management. The professionals can also treat psychological concerns like bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression.
3. Therapy Applications
Therapy apps make it possible for you to connect with therapists online via text and video chat. You get to communicate with a therapist from anywhere – this is what makes online therapy extremely appealing for busy individuals.
Compared to traditional therapy sessions, online therapy is exceptionally affordable. The amount you would spend on a single hour of conventional treatment can cover a whole week when using therapy applications.
It is, however, important to note that online therapy is not for everyone. While it may be as helpful as meeting with the therapist in person, it may not work for people with severe mental health concerns like PTSD, substance use disorder, and schizophrenia. People with extreme conditions require more attention and care than the remote treatment is capable of offering.
4. Take Advantage of Your Insurance Coverage
A large number of people dealing with mental disorders go without professional treatment because they aren’t aware that insurance coverage for mental health services has improved. If you are still unsure whether your healthcare insurance plan covers mental health services, click here to read a useful article on this topic.
The 2008 Mental Health Parity & Addiction Equity Act requires insurance companies in the United States to treat behavioral health, mental health, and substance use disorders equal – or better than – surgical/medical coverage. Insurers have to treat financial requirements equally.
Finding a therapy service that is willing to work with your healthcare plan is one of the best ways to keep the fees at the bare minimum. This can allow you to enjoy therapy sessions regularly and affordably.
5. Local Support Groups
Individuals dealing with postpartum depression, substance and alcohol abuse disorder, and those coping with grief or loss can benefit from attending local support groups. Different from traditional individual therapy, the local support groups will connect you with others who are currently going through a similar experience.
While individual therapists avoid giving direct advice, support groups make it possible for you to ask for opinions from people who have already experienced your situations. Hearing other people share their stores is healing – it reminds you that you aren’t alone.
Similar to individual therapy, you must find a group that meets all your needs. Before you join the group, consider asking its leader about the group structure and dynamic.
Taking care of your mental health can be affordable. All you will have to do is choose therapy options that fit in your budget. Above, we have outlined the most affordable therapy options. While the options fall in the lower price range, they are all capable of delivering your expected results.