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by Dominique Apollon, M.ED

Friends and family are great at being the go-to support for the occasional ups and downs we experience in our day-to-day lives. Venting to them can feel uplifting, but in order to learn tools to overcome life’s challenges feel and feel empowered in the long run, seeking professional help may be the best route. However, sometimes there is a barrier. The most common being the costs that seems to get in between people wanting to create change but not having the funds to do so. The good thing is that you can find quality therapy without breaking the bank, so do not let funds get in the way of improving your mental wellness. Here are a few ways you can find affordable or free healthcare in your community:

  1. If you are currently in the workforce, ask your employer if they offer an employee assistance program (EAP). The goal of EAP’s is to assist in helping employees overcome personal and professional life challenges that may impact the employee’s job performance. It’s also important to acknowledge that not all employers offer these services, but it’s certainly worth asking about.
  2. If you are a student, take advantage of your university mental wellness services. Most universities offer free counseling sessions with their school psychologist or counselors and can also provide additional referrals and resources even after you graduate. 
  3. Reach out to your local hospitals that have trainees who are able to see you at a reduced rate. 
  4. Another option is to seek out support groups. This allows you to have a safe space to process your life transitions or challenges with people who you can relate to. To find a support group near you check out the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).
  5. You can also check out ADAA or Psychology Today for therapist around you who either offer pro-bono work or sliding scale options. Don’t shy away from speaking with your therapist about all possible options, referrals and additional resources that you could benefit from.
  6. Utilize the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email them at info@nami.org. They can help you in your search for affordable mental healthcare.
  7. Lastly, the crisis prevention hotlines such as Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Crisis Text Line are available even if you're not an immediate suicide risk.

About the author: 

Dominique received her Masters from DePaul University in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Her clinical experiences include working at a non-profit helping kids, teens, adolescents and adults experiencing trauma. Prior to working at NVisionYou, Dominique worked in private practice specializing in the treatment of anxiety, depression, OCD, specific phobias, trichotillomania and other stress-related disorders. Dominique is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is board certified. Dominique is also on the public education committee for the Anxiety and Depression Association of America where she aims to improve and expand public education and outreach about anxiety, depression and co-occurring disorders through website content, webinars, blog posts, social media outreach and other collaborative educational projects.

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