Finance

9 affordable ways to take care of your mental health


They say there’s nothing more important than your mental health – but tell that with an empty bank account.

It’s easy to gossip about getting the help you need, but everyone has a financial reality to deal with. It’s unlikely that your mental health will improve if you can’t pay the bills or put food on the table, so the help you need and the help you can afford isn’t always the same.

But no matter what you’re dealing with, there are plenty of low-cost options that can make a real difference. Here are some of the best ones to try.

Download meditation apps

Meditation may be the least expensive — and most effective — way to boost your mental health. Meditating regularly has been shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and relieve physical pain.

If you haven’t practiced meditation before, start with the Insight Timer. This free app includes over 90,000 free guided meditations, or you can create a custom meditation timer with soothing sounds and interval bells.

Paid apps like Calm and Headspace also offer guided meditations. Headspace costs $12.99 per month or $48.99 for an annual membership, while Calm costs $69.99 per year.

Start by meditating for five minutes at a time and work your way up until you can sit for between 10 and 20 minutes. Meditation, like budget, rewards those who adopt regular exercise.

go out

Research shows that being in nature can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression — and you don’t need a national park or exotic place to experience the benefits. Simply find a local hiking trail or walk in a nearby park. Doing this a few times a week can improve your mood, and all you have to pay is a little gas money.

Understand your insurance coverage

If you want traditional counseling, your insurance may cover a variety of mental health services including therapy, psychiatric visits, and prescriptions.

Some insurance companies will cover only a few sessions, while others will not pay for any form of mental health counseling. Others may have a network of therapists that you can visit for a reduced fee. Log in to your insurance policy account and search for service providers within the network.

When you find a provider within the network, contact them and check that they have your insurance. Insurance guides are often outdated and may list providers who no longer accept this insurance.

Research your employer’s resources

Some employers offer health programs that include visits with a licensed mental health worker. Most companies limit the number of free or reduced sessions, but it’s a good place to start if you’re new to therapy.

Your employer may also have discounts on apps like Calm and Headspace. Ask your HR department what the Employer Assistance Program entails.

Find a low-cost graduate school or clinic

Many psychology graduate schools offer discounted sessions to the public, ranging from $5 to $20. Sessions will be held with a graduate or Ph.D. Student under professional supervision. The exact cost depends on the specific clinic and its policies

Search Google for local graduate psychology departments near you or visit بزيارة Association of Psychology Training Clinics website. Type in your city to find options available locally.

Some clinics may have a waiting list if there are not enough student counselors. Add your name to the list and they will notify you when a wizard is available.

Use HSA or FSA

You can use either a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or a Health Savings Account (HSA) to pay for mental health expenses such as treatment, prescription medications, and psychiatric visits. These accounts will reduce your tax liability, allowing you to save money on your total tax bill.

The FSA is provided through your employer, and some companies even contribute money to the FSA for their employees. FSA funds expire at the end of the year, so you must use them before that date. The Annual contribution limit for FSAs $2750 for individuals.

If you have a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), you can open an HSA at a local bank or online. Unlike FSAs, the money in an HSA never expires and can be renewed from year to year. Individuals can contribute up to $3,600 annually to an HSA or up to $7,200 for married couples.

Look at group therapy options

While individual treatment is more common, it can also be more expensive. Opting for group therapy can save you up to 50% while providing access to a qualified specialist.

You can also look for group therapy sessions that focus on a specific problem, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder or an eating disorder. While you won’t get the same level of attention in group therapy, these sessions usually meet frequently.

Looking for Graduated Therapists

Some therapists offer services on a graduated scale, which means that the cost of the session depends on your income. The less you earn, the less you will pay.

If the wizard does not mention the gradient fee on their website, contact them in person and ask. You never know what kind of discount they might offer.

The Open group track المسار It is a group of online therapists that provide low cost services, usually between $30 and $60 per session. Open Path charges a one-time $59 membership fee that stays the same no matter how many sessions you have or how many different therapists you use.

You do not have to show your payment stub or tax return to qualify for Open Path services, but they only require you to use it if you cannot afford the full treatment.

Some local community health centers also have affordable therapy sessions. If you are having trouble finding one online, contact your primary care physician and ask for some recommendations.

Use drug coupons

If you are taking medication for your mental health, compare the costs at different pharmacies before receiving your prescription. Use sites like GoodRX To find coupons and contact the drug manufacturer if you can’t find any deals. Sometimes they will send you a free or discounted supply.

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Zina Kumok (125 posts)

Zina Kumuk is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. A former reporter, she has covered murder trials, the Final Four, and everything in between. Featured in Lifehacker, DailyWorth and Time. Read about how she paid off $28,000 of student loans in three years at Conscious Coins.

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