AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

American healthcare is an industry in transition. As a result, many families have lost insurance coverage or have experienced cuts in the services covered by their insurance plans. Mental health care is one service that has been dropped from some insurance plans. Many people are also unemployed or underemployed and are therefore unable to pay out of pocket for mental health care. Below are several low-cost options for people without mental health coverage who need low-cost counseling for a minor mental condition. None of the methods below are suitable for persons in need of long-term therapy, medication or in-patient treatment but can help a person with a mental health issue such as depression, anxiety, family conflict or other minor condition.

See The School Psychologist

For children and adults who attend a school, college or university, the school or school system can be a good place to find a mental health professional. Many schools employ a licensed school psychologist to serve the students at that school. Although these counselors specialize in educational issues, all psychologists receive the same basic training in patient care and may be able to help with behavior modification, basic counseling services and family issues. These services are often provided free of charge.

Call Around

Mental health professionals, like all health professionals, are in business to help people. Many private-practice psychologists are willing to see patients on a sliding scale based on income. Professionals who offer this service often don’t advertise the fact that they give reduced rates to some clients but will inform clients who make direct contact with their office. Doing the research involved can be difficult for a person suffering from depression or social anxiety but can often put a patient in touch with a professional who can help them for a reduced price.

Join A Support Group

Although a support group may not be staffed by a professional counselor, interaction with others suffering from the same problem can help many people with mild mental disorders. Support groups for a range of disorders including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, abuse recovery, post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse are available in almost every large community. For persons who cannot attend regular meetings or who prefer not to interact face-to-face with others, on-line support groups are also available. Most support groups are free, although internet-based groups require a fee-based subscription to the internet.

Look Into Faith-Based Therapy

Many churches offer counseling services as a part of their ministry and community outreach. Pastors often receive training in individual and family counseling and some are even licensed counselors. Most pastors will counsel individuals and families who are church members for free. Some large churches employ a professional counselor or utilize the services of a church member who is also a licensed counselor who agrees to meet with patients for free or for a small fee or donation.

Visit A Counselor-in-Training

Colleges and universities with psychology departments often offer low-cost mental health therapy to the public so that their psychology graduates have the chance to interact with real patients while still under the supervision of their professors. Individuals who choose this type of therapy do not meet with a beginner; only students that have received extensive training and that are nearing program completion are allowed to meet with patients. Experienced professionals evaluate the counseling sessions and may even listen in to ensure that the student counselor is providing adequate services. There is usually a fee associated with these programs but it is generally much less than the going rate for professional counseling services.

About the Author: Counselor Jeffrey Goode enjoys sharing mental health tips with his readers and providing educational material for aspiring counselors. Jeffrey highly recommends using Most Affordable Masters in Counseling Programs as a resource for finding an excellent education at a reasonable cost.


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