Mental health is expensive but critically important, so it’s no wonder why so many people search for free counseling. Counseling can easily cost $100 or more per hour which keeps many low income people from getting the help that they need.
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America is currently experiencing a mental health crisis. We are doing what we can to help, by finding low cost mental health resources and free counseling for those who can’t afford mental health care on their own.
If you are in a mental health crisis and need immediate assistance, contact one of these resources.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at
1-800-273-8255. They also have an online chat.
Crisis Text Line
You can text NAMI to 741-741 to receive free crisis support via text message.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Domestic Violence Hotline can help victims escape and overcome their challenges. Call 800-799-7233 for help.
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National Sexual Assault Hotline
If you are the victim of sexual assault, you can talk to a trained staff member that can connect you with local resources. Free chat support is available here or you can call 800-656-4673.
Free Counseling & Low-Cost Therapy Resources
These options can help you find ongoing care at low (or no) cost.
Medicaid and Government Health Care
If you are low income, you may qualify for Medicaid or other government-funded health care programs. These programs typically cover mental health services, although the eligibility and services vary by state.
Federally-Funded Health Centers
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), federally-funded health centers serve those without health insurance and/or those who don’t have resources to pay for their own health care. These centers charge a sliding-scale fee based on your income. Many of these clinics offer mental health services, so it’s a great place to look for free counseling! Find one near you here.
Work with a Graduate Student
Many colleges and universities offer low-cost therapy because students need experience. You can also reach out to hospitals and ask if they currently have anyone in training who may be able to help you at a reduced rate. You can also look for training clinics here.
If you pursue treatment through these options, you will work with a graduate student who is supervised by someone with more experience. You’re helping them gain the experience they need for their career and in exchange, you’ll get mental health service for a very low cost.
Look for a pro-bono or low-cost therapist.
You can also contact the National Alliance on Mental Health and ask for help finding an affordable therapist in your area. You can reach NAMI here.
Find a Support Group.
There are many support groups that offer safe spaces and supportive environments. You can find one here.
Try an online therapy app.
You can use services like Teledoc, Talkspace and BetterHelp to chat with a therapist via phone, text or chat. These services are still high-cost but usually more affordable than traditional therapy options. Sometimes, they’re even covered by your insurance!