The world is a tough place these days. There’s so much to be sad, stressed, and anxious about that taking care of our mental health is more important than ever. But it can be hard to get access to mental health resources. And the cost of therapy or counseling can be really high. Thankfully, there are some affordable (and even free) options available to support you.

1. Online therapy platforms

In recent years, online platforms like BetterHelp and Talkspace have made access to mental health care much easier. They offer professional counseling at a fraction of the cost of traditional in-person sessions. Clients can communicate with licensed therapists via text, phone, or video calls, making therapy accessible from the comfort of home. There’s even financial aid available for people who qualify, so this is a great option for flexibility and affordability.

2. Community health clinics

A lot of communities have health clinics that offer mental health services on a sliding cost scale based on income. They often provide counseling, therapy, and sometimes even psychiatric medication management. To find a community health clinic near you, visit the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) website to search for centers in your area.

3. Support groups

Support groups are a wonderful resource for those looking to connect with others who are going through similar mental health challenges. These groups provide a safe place for sharing experiences and strategies, for both emotional support and practical advice. Organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offer free support groups led by trained facilitators. Additionally, there are virtual support groups online that can be accessed from anywhere, for people with busy schedules or limited mobility.

4. University counseling centers

If you’re a college student, your school likely offers free or low-cost counseling services through its counseling center. These centers provide a range of services, including individual counseling, group therapy, workshops, and crisis intervention. These services are usually included in students’ tuition, making this a valuable and accessible campus resource.

5. Mental health apps

There are lots of mental health apps that offer tools and resources to help manage anxiety, depression, stress, and more. Apps like Calm and Headspace provide guided meditations, coping techniques, and educational resources. Many of them offer free versions with optional paid upgrades, so they’re an option for anyone with a smartphone.

Affordable help is available

Taking care of your mental health is critical, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Affordable or free resources like all of the above can help you get support without adding the stress of how to pay for it. without financial strain. Getting help is a sign of strength, not weakness, and prioritizing your mental health is something to be proud of.