There is so much going on right now with the pandemic, recession, election, and the stresses of daily life. It’s bound to affect your mental health in some way. Right now, it’s especially important to take care of your mental health as we adjust to everything. Therapy is a good option to get help, especially at affordable places like OpenPathCollective.org. But, what can you do if you feel you can’t afford therapy at all? For some, therapy is simply not a viable option financially. The good news is there are some free resources to help you get mental health support. Check out these nine free mental health resources to start.
1. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
If you’re feeling suicidal or experiencing suicidal ideation, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. According to their website, you can talk to someone 24/7 and it’s totally free and confidential. This is a great resource for people who are on the brink and need help ASAP. If you are feeling that way, please don’t hesitate to reach out. There is no shame in seeking help.
2. Crisis Text Line
What if you feel like you’re in crisis but not exactly suicidal? Oftentimes people feel like they don’t have any resources or places to turn to because they’re not suicidal.
But you don’t need to be suicidal to get help. That’s where the Crisis Text Line comes in. If you’re experiencing anything you deem a crisis, you can text HOME to 741741 to chat with a crisis counselor over text.
I have used the Crisis Text Line in the past when I felt I needed additional support and was in a bad place. The convenience of text made it easy and it did help me get out of that bad place and into a better frame of mind.
So, if you’ve lost your job, are having pandemic anxiety, getting a divorce — or whatever else you deem a crisis, get in touch. I find the texting easier because when you’re emotional you may not have the capacity to speak to someone on the phone.
3. 12-step programs
There is a link between mental health and addiction. If you’re dealing with alcoholism or drug abuse, you can go to a 12-step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
The programs can offer support and community, and you can meet others who are going through the same thing you are. As the name suggests, your participation is anonymous.
There’s even Debtors Anonymous if you’re experiencing problems with debt. You can Google “12 step programs near me” or something specific like Alcoholics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and more.
You can learn more about 12 step programs here. These programs may not be a fit for everyone, but for some, it could be a lifesaver. If you need help, reach out and find free support in these communities. You may be able to find a sponsor to help you out on your recovery journey.
4. Mental Health and Wealth Hangout
This year I’ve been focused on money and mental health and supporting the community. I created The Mental Health and Wealth Hangout to bring people together to talk about money and mental health.
It’s kind of like a free support group where we bring people together to talk about these issues. Many people say they can’t talk about this with anyone else, so having this group has been good to start the conversation. The hangouts are every other Thursday at 5pm PT over Zoom and free. You can find out when the next one is by following @mentalhealthandwealth on Instagram.
5. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
If you need support, but it’s not exactly a crisis, you can reach out to the National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline.
You can contact them Monday through Friday 10am-6pm ET at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264). You can get more info here and also check out their knowledge center where they answer a lot of pressing questions you may have. NAMI is a great resource to get more information and find the help you need.
6. Insight Timer
When your mind is going a million miles a minute, sitting still and taking a minute can help. You can use free guided meditations using Insight Timer.
I use Insight Timer to meditate and I can use the search bar to find one that will help. So I might search “anxiety” or “stress” or even one for when I want to sleep. Dedicate just five minutes to start and sit with yourself and follow the guided meditation. Check it out here.
7. Employee Assistance Plan (EAP)
Your job may offer an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) that may offer short term counseling or other programs that can benefit your mental health and wellness.
Check with your employer to see if they offer an EAP and take advantage of the free mental health resources they offer. If it’s part of your benefits package, use it when you need it!
8. Anxiety and Depression Association of America
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America offers free webinars that can help address mental health issues. For example, recent sessions have covered managing anxiety in tough times, OCD, COVID-19, depression, and more. Check out their free webinars to find additional support.
9. Text for Humanity
Want to try something different? What about texting a stranger a positive message? That’s what Text for Humanity is all about.
According to their website, “To take on online negativity, we created #TextForHumanity, where you send a positive message to a stranger and receive one in return. Why? Because although we’re using our phones to communicate 24/7, we feel worse mentally – not happier. It’s time for our mobile phones to love us back.” You can send an encouraging message to a stranger and get one back.
Your mental health is so important. Right now is a difficult time, so if you need extra support, don’t feel ashamed. Reach out and use these nine free mental health resources to get the support you need.