I am not a licensed therapist and I am not licensed to give out any advice in regards to mental health. If you are suffering from a major mental health issue and need treatment please do not be ashamed to seek help from a professional.
What If You Can’t Afford A Therapist?
In my opinion, everyone could benefit from therapy. But not everyone can afford it. The good news is there is a whole world of free or affordable mental health care out there to help you with almost every kind of issue. From kicking an addiction to managing your emotions, to finding a group of like minded peers to recovering from trauma. Some of these resources are available whenever you need them.
Here are some free and/or affordable resources that you may find helpful.
ACT Coach – ACT Coach teaches users how to tolerate negative thoughts and feelings by virtually guiding them through awareness exercises and giving tips on how to overcome self doubt. With an extra focus on mindfulness, this app also provides a log to track your progress. FREE for iOS
Breathe2Relax – Sometimes all we need to de-stress is to take a few deep breaths. This app was created by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology. This app teaches users how to do diaphragmatic breathing. Some of the features include educational videos on stress respond, logs to record stress levels, and customizable guided breathing sessions. FREE for iOS & Android.
DBT Diary Card and Skills Coach – This app works as a daily mood and thought diary. But it also has a coaching module that gives tips on emotional situations, such as how to ask for what you need without drama or how to successfully resolve conflict. Users also get positive reinforcement when they’re consistent with their entries. The app also includes a helpful DBT reference section for more info on coping skills. $4.99 for iOS
eCBT Calm – By implementing some of the many strategies of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, this app helps users assess their stress levels, practice mindfulness and relaxation skills, and connect their thoughts to feelings and behaviors. The end result is more calm in your everyday life and more awareness of your actions and emotions. $0.99 for iOS.
Happify – Want to kick those negative thoughts, nix worry, and dial down your stress? The array of engaging games, activity suggestions, and gratitude prompts makes Happify a useful shortcut to a good mood. Designed with input from 18 health and happiness experts, Happify’s positive mood-training program is Psychologist approved. Their website even links to bonus videos that are sure to make you smile. FREE for iOS.
MindShift – This straightforward stress management tool helps users re-think what’s stressing them out through a variety of onscreen prompts. At the same time, this app encourages new ways to take charge of anxiety and tune into body signals. FREE for iOS & Android.
Operation Reach Out – This mood tracker and resource locator was designed by Emory University researchers to aid in suicide prevention. Users create a personal profile that includes emergency contact information, current medications, safety plans, and reminders for appointments or medications. The app also uses GPS to locate mental health care services nearby. Free for iOS and Android.
Stop, Breathe, Think – Do you have five minutes? That’s enough time to cultivate mindfulness, which can improve your mood, lower stress, and help you feel more compassion toward yourself and the world. As an added incentive, this app can also improve your focus. Free for iOS & Android.
Talkspace – Did you know that you can chat with a therapist for just $25 a week? With that fee, you can text message with a trained professional everyday of the week and as many times as you want. They also offer services for individuals and couples. The best part is you can do it from your couch! $25/week for iOS & Android.
Websites + Online Support + Forums
Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation – People with Body Dysmorphic Disorder have a damaging preoccupation with their appearance and an obsessive focus on their physical flaws. If that sounds familiar, you might find some relief on the BDD Foundation’s website.
IMAlive – If you are in a place where picking up the phone seems too daunting, you can still access support through IM Alive’s virtual crisis chat. Staffed by a network of trained and supervised peer volunteers around the country, IM Alive’s goal is to empower individuals in despair, address their situation, and help them navigate the darkest and most difficult emotional times.
International OCD Foundation – An invaluable space for those struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder, this website has many links, resources, and opportunities to get involved in the ongoing fight to preserve mental health.
MentalHealth.gov – The main goal of this government sponsored resource is to educate as many people as possible about the realities of mental illness in the U.S. while offering resources to those seeking help. Consider this a go to site for a rundown on what mental health disorders look like. It also includes information on how to get help, support someone you love, or start a dialog about mental health in your community.
More Than My Diagnosis – This website focuses on depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.
National Alliance on Mental Illness – From education about mental illness to updates on insurance coverage, NAMI offers many resources. People who want to get informed about the workings of the mind and our government’s recognition of mood and behavioral disorders will get the scoop here.
National Institute of Mental Health – One of the most comprehensive and trusted sources for information about mental illness, the National Institute of Mental Health’s site is packed with educational tools designed to promote awareness and provide funding for research. It serves as a hub on a variety of topics.
OK2Talk – Designed for teens and young adults with mental illness, this website offers an online outlet for people to come forward with their own stories, find support, and discuss the diagnosis they may have received. OK2Talk comes with plenty of motivational posts and mantras as well.
Addiction Support Groups
Alcoholics Anonymous – AA has been helping alcoholics since 1935. Founded by two former drinking buddies, the program was loosely modeled on a popular religious movement bent on owning your errors, assessing your character, and making amends.
Al-Anon – Sometimes the issues is not your drinking, but a friend’s or family member’s whose issues with alcohol have disrupted your life. Al-Anon supports individuals affected by other’s alcoholism and even offers a specialized program for teens called Ala-Teen.
Dual Recovery Anonymous – Dual Recovery Anonymous offers a specialized 12 step program for people that are struggling with chemical dependencies on top of emotional and psychological disorders.