By: Contributor, Christina Merriweather
In this season of COVID-19, we are paying more attention to our health and well-being than ever before. As we find ourselves homebound and stuck in an endless loop of the same activities with limited contact with family and friends, mental health challenges abound. The times we are in right now are unprecedented and there is no right or wrong way to feel, but it is important to acknowledge and process those feelings in a safe space. If you’re struggling, the great news is that you don’t have to allow cost to be the reason that you don’t get the help you need.
In recognition of Mental Health Awareness month, we’re sharing low to no-cost therapy resources so that you can get your health back in check and keep your bank account intact.
Non-Profit Mental Health Organizations
Non-profits are a great way to access free resources, as many of these organizations are grant-funded and mission-driven to help those in need. Actress and philanthropist, Taraji P. Henson made headlines this year when she announced that her foundation, the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, would be launching a campaign to provide free virtual therapy sessions to people in need.
Henson’s father, a military veteran, struggled with mental illness for many years. The foundation was created in his honor with an aim to reduce the stigma of mental health challenges, particularly within the African American community.
To sign up for a therapy session, text Nostigma to 707070 or visit borislhensonfoundation.org.
Check out your company’s Employee Assistance Program
If you’re fortunate enough to still be employed with health benefits, you’ll want to review your benefits package. Check if your company has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). If it’s included in your plan then your Human Resources benefits counselor should be able to share with you a list of local therapists and counselors that will accept your insurance.
Visit your local college campus.
If you are currently enrolled in college, check out your campus resources. Many colleges and universities have on-site licensed social workers and/or therapists that can provide counseling or therapy resources for free. Your student fees may cover the cost of sessions so be sure to check with your campus health center for more information.
Contact your local church or religious organizations.
Many clergy are also licensed counselors so inquire about free or low-cost therapy options through your local church either in one-to-one or group settings. Some churches may require membership with their congregation but others are open to the community and best of all, FREE.
Don’t forget there’s always an app for that.
Don’t feel like talking to a therapist face to face?
Therapy apps like TalkSpace, 7 Cups of Tea, or BetterHelp, match you to a therapist and/or counselor based upon your preferences and offer a certain number of sessions per week for a fee.
Remember that mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of and therapy is not something that is reserved only for certain people. There are tons of resources out there and people waiting to show you how much they care.
For more information visit the National Institute of Mental Health at https://www.nimh.nih.gov/.
Featured image via Shutterstock.