Life will always have its ups and downs, but it’s important to take care of your mental health no matter what. With healthcare being so expensive in general, some people seem to think that deciding to prioritize your mental health isn’t a good decision. This is a decision most of us can’t afford to make.
This year especially is going to be hard on a lot of people physically, mentally, and emotionally which means it could affect your mental health more than you realize. In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), so many things are happening that we’ve never experienced before like widespread travel bans, schools closing and everything being canceled from sporting events to group gatherings.
On the bright side, these new changes have allowed us to spend more intentional time with loved ones and focus on self-care.
If you’re looking for some affordable ways to prioritize your mental health, here are some great options.
1. Sliding Fee Therapists
Some therapists offer a sliding fee rate for their services which is based on your income. Whenever you’re looking for therapy, it’s important that you ask about this early on if you’re on a budget.
If the office you call doesn’t offer rates on a sliding fee scale, ask if they have anyone they can refer you to instead. Remember, you can also search on Google for ‘income-based therapy services’ in your area as well.
2. Health Insurance
If you have health insurance, realize that mental health services may be covered under your plan. Health insurance can be pretty expensive, but that means you should take full advantage of all the features and benefits you get. In 2008, the Mental Health Parity Law was passed which means insurance companies must treat mental and behavioral health and substance use disorder coverage equal to (or better than) medical/surgical coverage.
Realize this does still come with some limitations. Your insurance company may limit your coverage to certain areas – like substance abuse counseling only. Or, they may require that you you get a referral from your primary doctor for specific mental health services. Even then, you may have to visit a specific clinic that is covered under your insurance.
Make sure you check your insurance coverage benefits and place phone calls to get clear on what is included and what isn’t.
3. Community Health Center
Community Health Centers are local and often provide affordable ways to prioritize your mental health. They tend to provide services like crisis intervention, substance abuse counseling, and therapy.
If you need therapy, you may be able to qualify for discounts based on your income and other factors. Even if you earn a moderate income, you may still qualify for discounts so don’t count this option out.
Check out this resource to find affordable community health center services near you.
4. Therapy Apps
You can get mental health help without even having to leave your home. Apps like Talkspace will allow you to chat with a professional therapist whenever you wish. How it works is you pay a weekly or monthly fee which gives you access to unlimited texting with a professional.
You can also request conversation as well. Either way, you’ll get quality therapy and exercises you can do to improve your mental health in certain areas. Talkspace starts at $65 per week but they also have coupons and discount codes that you can use to start.
Open Path Collective is a site that helps you connect with affordable therapists in your area. Individual therapy sessions vary but often range between $30 – $60 per individual session and $30 – $80 per couple or family session. You can also explore the option of meeting with therapists that you find on the platform virtually as well.
5. Crisis Text Hotline
Crisis Text Line is a global not-for-profit organization providing free confidential crisis intervention via SMS message. If you are thinking dangerous thoughts and looking for someone to talk to, this 24/7 service text-only service can help. Their website also has support numbers and additional information. Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor.
6. Meditation Apps
Getting your day off to a good start with meditation or prayer can really make a positive impact on your mental health. You can also utilize free meditation apps to help you process your thoughts, relax, and focus on positivity.
Below are some of the top meditation apps to consider trying:
Don’t let your mental health take a backseat due to a fear of not being able to afford it. These affordable ways to prioritize your mental health will allow you to take care of yourself without going over budget. Take the first step by researching some of these options, downloading an app, or finding out more about what benefits your health insurance policy includes.