May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and although in a perfect world we’d all be in-tune with our mental health year-round, you can use the rest of this month to check-in with yourself and reset your body, mind, and spirit. When we think of mental health, we think of common conditions like depression and anxiety, and when we think of therapy, the cliche image of lying on a leather couch and lamenting to a stranger is called to mind. According to MentalHealth.gov, mental health “includes our emotional , psychological, and social well-being.” And women face an enormous amount of daily stressors, be it in the workplace, at home, or in just moving about the world; and sometimes it is necessary to seek outside help in juggling all of the things that can wear on your mental health. But outside help, usually in the form of professional therapy, can often be outside of many women’s financial reach. Ahead are 10 mental health resources for when you can’t afford therapy:
1. Your insurance company.
Don’t let the idea that therapy is expensive keep you from finding out what all of your options are, if you have an insurance provider, find out what kinds of therapy/mental health resources are covered. You may end up with some out-of-pocket costs; but they may be up lower than you thought if your provider subsidizes some of a therapist’s fees or is willing to offer payment reimbursement.
2. Therapy or counseling students.
Some graduate schools, hospitals, or health centers allow supervised students who are training in counseling, social work, or psychology to counsel individuals at a heavily reduced rate.
3. Dial 2-1-1.
When you dial 2-1-1 you will reach a local community hotline that connects you to a resource specialist, who can point you in the direction of everything from support groups, to low-cost therapy in your area.
4. Psychology Today Therapy Finder.
If you just want to learn to get more intentional peace and quiet, give daily meditation a try via apps like Calm or Headspace.
6. Crisis Prevention Hotlines.
Crisis prevention hotlines, like the Crisis Text Line, allow you to connect with a trained crisis counselor for free.
7. Start a fund.
Sometimes it is less about not having money to afford therapy and more about assessing poor spending habits. Take a look at your spending to see if budgeting or cutting back can allow you to afford low-cost therapy.
CenterLink serves LGBT community centers in 45 states in the U.S., as well as some international locations; which all offer mental health resources.
In addition to meditation apps, apps like MoodNotes allows you to journal and track your feelings on a daily basis.
10. Support groups.
Tiffany Curtis is a Philly-based freelance writer, podcaster, and sex positivist whose work focuses on empowerment for women of color, race and culture, and sex positivity. She has written for sites like Blavity, Refinery29, and Hello Giggles.