If you need free mental health help during the pandemic, your’e not alone. In fact, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that almost half of US adults said the pandemic has affected their mental health.
The sudden changes to our life and our entire world naturally cause feelings of anxiety, depression and panic. Social distancing and government shutdowns exacerbate existing mental health conditions by cutting people off from their usual coping mechanisms. I have suffered from this personally and I’m sorry that you have, too.
Fortunately, we’ve found some free and low-cost ways that you can get mental health help during the pandemic.
Free Mental Health Help
There are many free mental health resources that may be able to help you during this difficult time.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. They also have an online chat that you can use. Just click the blue “chat” button on their homepage.
The Crisis Text Line can be reached by texting MHA to 741741. This is a free service that is available 24/7.
You can receive immediate emotional support from Integral Care by calling 512-472-HELP (4757). This service assists adults and children with supportive, judgement-free listening.
The National Helpline is available 24/7. This hotline provides free and confidential referrals, in addition to information about mental health, substance use disorders, prevention, treatment and more.
The Disaster Distress Helpline is available for anyone in the United States who is experiencing distress of orther challenges due to any disaster. This includes public health emergencies, natural disasters and human-caused disasters.
There are several online services that are offering assistance during this difficult time.
Talkspace is offering several resources during the pandemic:
- Free therapist-led Facebook support groups
- 16-day anxiety relief program
- Financial assistance for healthcare workers and first responders
- Discounted subscriptions
This service offers free online chat support and counseling in English and Spanish. For a fee, you can also speak with a licensed mental health professional.
Support Group Central
This service helps you find online support groups for various issues. They are free or low-cost, and the service is available in multiple languages.
COVID Coach promotes self-care and mental health during the pandemic.
Sinasprite, by Litesprite, is a unique app that supports mental health. It is the first video game to win a US Surgeon General Award and is useful for people struggling with anxiety, depression, stress, substance abuse, or specific health conditions like cancer or diabetes.
Free State Programs
Some states have opted to offer free counseling and emotional support during the pandemic.
For example, the state of Utah has offered free virtual counseling for all virus-related stress. The counselors are available 12 hours per day, from 7 am to 7 pm. To start, you’ll need to call or text 385-386-2289, or send your first name and phone number to email@example.com.
Other Free Mental Health Help
Medicaid and Medicare are government-funded health care options that often cover mental health services. If you qualify for these programs, apply right away and search for therapists in your area that accept these insurances.
Low-Cost Mental Health Help
The Open Path Collective is a website that features low-cost therapy sessions. Therapists offer sessions for $30-$60, which is usually what an insured person would pay for a copay.
If you cannot find an adequate low-cost option in your area, you can reach out to a therapist directly and attempt to negotiate a lower rate. Just like landlords and lenders, therapists understand that times are tough. Some may be willing to work with you on pricing during this difficult time.
Hillside Wellness Center in California offers low-cost counseling for just $20 per session (or $25 for couples, family and children). The sessions are held over phone, FaceTime or Zoom. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.