In a CNN survey in partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation, 9 out of 10 adults surveyed said they believe there is a mental health crisis in the United States. More than 1 in 5 adults surveyed describe their own mental health as good or bad. In the past year, a third of all adults surveyed said they often or always felt anxious, while 1 in 5 adults said they often or always felt depressed or lonely.
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Almost three years after the COVID-19 pandemic, coping with mental health continues to be a challenge for teens and adults. The answer isn’t always as simple as finding a therapist. Many people do not have enough health insurance to cover the full cost of therapy sessions. Some may also be without health insurance, increasing the difficulty of finding affordable mental health care.
The good news is that there are inexpensive and even free mental health resources available to people of all ages. Check out these options if you’re looking for affordable mental health now.
Sliding scale therapists
While this is not necessarily a free option, those seeking mental health support may be able to find it with sliding scale therapists.
If you have to pay out-of-pocket for therapy sessions because your insurance doesn’t cover the full amount, you may want to find a therapist on a sliding scale. A therapist who works on a sliding scale can adjust their hourly fees. This allows clients to better afford their therapy sessions.
Need to find an affordable therapist in the office or online? Look for available therapists through networks like the Open Path Psychotherapy Collective. Enter your city name or zip code and search to find available therapists in your area. Session costs range between $30 and $60 for individuals and between $30 and $80 for couples and families.
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Community mental health clinics
Depending on where you live, you may be able to visit a local organization with mental health expertise.
Some of these resources can be found as quickly as visiting HealthCare.gov to find low-cost health care in your community and finding the nearest community health center.
Even more organizations can be found by visiting MentalHealth.gov. Here you can find out which organizations offer peer and family support and services and treatment for mental health problems. Some of these organizations include Active Minds, The Jed Foundation, The Trevor Project, Mental Health America, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), to name just a few resources.
Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
Your employer may offer employee assistance programs (EAPs) that allow employees to receive mental health benefits.
Contact your human resources department or consult your employee handbook to see what types of services or programs are available and what you need to know about EAP benefit options.
Visit a college health center
College health centers can be a helpful place for students, including undergraduates and graduate students, to go for mental health help.
There are several colleges that have mental health practitioner programs that provide low-cost therapeutic treatment. If you are unsure of what your college offers, students can call the psychology department to learn more about these services and determine which sessions are available for their needs.
Call or text a mental health hotline
Support is a call or SMS away. Crisis contact hotlines are available in your state of residence as well as nationally.
A complete list of hotlines can be found at pleaselive.org, providing resources for those struggling with crises at any age. Remember, these hotlines are free, confidential and available to call 24/7.
If you’re not sure where to start, text HOME to 741-741 from anywhere in the United States. You will be able to contact a crisis counselor through the crisis hotline. A trained live crisis counselor will receive the text and respond to provide free 24/7 support that moves you from a hot moment to a cool moment.
In the event of a true medical emergency or when there is imminent danger of injury, it is strongly recommended that you seek help immediately. Dial 911 to seek support for a mental health crisis or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 5 Options for Affordable Mental Health Care