Thank you for reaching out with this incredibly important question.
Many people find themselves in a similar situation.
As a social worker, the basic foundation of my profession is to provide access of services and resources to those in need, regardless of whether or not they have the ability pay for these services, such as therapy.
Fortunately, there are many different options that are available to find free or low-cost therapy.
Before we go any further, make sure you reach out to BetterHelp contact@BetterHelp.com. Their mission is making professional counseling accessible, affordable, convenient – so anyone who struggles with life’s challenges can get help, anytime, anywhere.
If for some reason this option does not work out, check out what your mental health benefits are for SSI by visiting their website – https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/ssi/
If BetterHelp and/or SSI benefits do not cover mental health services and/or you don’t want to use those benefits, the next step would be to access resources in your community.
Private Therapist – Many private therapists will offer low cost and affordable services to a certain percentage of clients they are working with and providing services to at any given time.
Local Hospital/s – Many hospitals have different outpatient therapeutic services available for a low fee or for free. These services can include individual and group therapy, in addition to other options that may be available.
Community Mental Health Center – These centers are designed specifically to offer free and low-cost services. Services can range from individual and group therapy, psychiatric services and others depending on that specific location.
Houses of Worship – Religious institutions are another location that may provide access to low cost or free therapy. If they don’t offer these services at that location, most likely they will have information about other locations that you can access for therapy.
Student Health Centers at a Local College/s – Many colleges offer low cost or free psychotherapy as part of their student’s education and training. Don’t worry, every student is supervised
National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI – This organization is a treasure trove of information and resources. Their website is – https://www.nami.org/Home. Also, they have a hotline where you can speak to someone that can help support you in a time of crisis (non-emergency).
The Helpline for NAMI is 800-950-NAMI (6264) or in a crisis text, “NAMI” to 741741.
Always remember, if you are in a life-threatening emergency and feel you are danger to yourself or someone else, always call 911.
Thank you, Shelley, for asking this important question.
And for you and anyone else that might be reading this question and answer,
Please don’t forget, there are always options!
Best of luck Shelly,
Steven R. Levey, PhD, LCSW