Community health centers, which are typically run by state agencies, often offer low-cost mental health assistance, according to Everyday Health. Local mental health advocacy groups, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness, may also be able to help people find affordable treatment.
State licensing boards for mental health professionals may also be able to provide assistance, suggests Everyday Health. These agencies may be able to refer patients to providers who offer low-cost or sliding-scale payment options. Sliding scale payments are based on income.
Colleges sometimes offer low-cost treatment options to the community, notes Everyday Health. This allows psychology students to learn clinical skills. Many colleges also offer low-cost or free counseling to enrolled students. Teaching hospitals are another good source of low-cost therapy, suggests TeensHealth. Some employers also offer employee assistance programs, which typically include free mental health assistance.
Group therapy is a cheaper option than individual therapy, so it may be a way for low-income people to get help, reports Everyday Health. There are also free hotlines available for people in crisis, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, according to Mental Health America. In some places, dialing 211 connects the caller with crisis services.
Government assistance may also be available. Low-income people may qualify for Medicaid, explains Mental Health America. People with severe mental illnesses may also quality for disability, notes Everyday Health.