As we reported last month, online mental health care is just as effective as in-person appointments with a mental health professional. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the mental health field to recognize this fact, and now more and more therapists are offering online and app-based appointments. This trend is likely to remain stable in the long term, even after the pandemic ends.
"I hope more people begin to view mental healthcare not as a last resort when you’re in crisis but as something that should be part of your regular routine.” - Jessica Gold, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis
Consumer Reports did their homework, and has some great advice on how to find a therapist who will see you virtually, protect your privacy, and fit within your budget. The article is thorough, covering all facets of finding a new therapist. Most importantly, though, is a small section with the title "What If You Can't Afford Therapy?" This section of the article gives recommendations for services that are either free or significantly less expensive that traditional therapy.
One resource Consumer Reports highlights is one I haven't run across even after weeks of scrubbing the internet to bring you these blog posts. The 211 website, or calling/texting 211, is either free or on a sliding scale, depending on ability. 211 provides access to local resources covering a huge range of needs, from veteran services to reentry help for ex-offenders to disaster relief. According to their website, 211 lines across the U.S. helped over 12.8 million people in 2018. 211 is an FCC-designated dedicated number, which means no matter where you are in the country, you should be able to dial 211 and speak to someone who can help (or at least refer you to appropriate help).
Check out the Consumer Report article for more information, and don't hesitate to reach out when you need help. You're important, and we love you.