Low cost psychiatry

7 Affordable Therapy Options

Illustration by Brittany England

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  • Best directories: FindTreatment. gov, Open Path Psychotherapy Collective
  • Best therapy apps: Talkspace, BetterHelp
  • Best support group resource: Mental Health America
  • Best online therapy platforms: Online-Therapy.com, Amwell

Finding a therapist is a huge step in taking charge of your mental health. But, unlike a cold or the flu, mental health conditions — like anxiety and depression — can take time to heal.

The American Psychological Association (APA) says there’s a big range of sessions needed. Some people find improvement after eight sessions, and others after 6 months. Sometimes, for more severe cases, a year or two may be needed.

What this means: Therapy is a commitment, and, depending on your health insurance coverage, it can be costly.

Unfortunately, having health insurance doesn’t guarantee you won’t need to pay upfront for therapy. Plans with high deductibles won’t cover any medical costs until the deductible has been met. Until that time, you’ll need to pay out of pocket for your appointments.

Unlike a $10 to $30 insurance copay, many therapists may charge between $65 and $150 per session. In most areas, the cost of therapy is about $100 to $200.

In cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, however, therapy can cost as much as $200 per session or more.

Luckily, for people who want to book with a therapist — but don’t have the means to shell out a significant amount of cash — cost-effective services are available.

To help you get started, we’ve provided a list of affordable mental health care options.

To narrow down our list of the best affordable therapy options, we took a few factors into account:

  • Accessibility: Some affordable therapy platforms are available online, allowing users to talk to their counselor from the comfort of their home. However, this isn’t the most accessible option for everyone, so we made sure to include an array of directories, apps, support groups, and more.
  • Mental health expertise: Each platform, site, and app on our list is guided by folks who are well-versed and trained to offer mental health assistance.
  • Medical review: Our team of medical experts carefully vetted each option in our roundup, and a mental health professional from Healthline’s Medical Network reviewed this article to provide insights, offer advice, and verify that all information is correct.

Best directories


  • Cost: free
  • What it’s best for: finding treatment for addiction within your budget

Part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, FindTreatment.gov is a website that allows you to search for sliding scale therapists and addiction treatment options who practice in cities across the nation. Rates will be determined by your income. There’s also an option to search for free services.

You can also call them at 800-662-HELP (4357).

Go to FindTreatment.gov

Open Path Psychotherapy Collective

  • Cost: $30 to $80, depending on the type of session
  • What it’s best for: affordable in-person or online psychotherapy

This nationwide network of mental health professionals provides mental health assistance for $30 to $80 per session. Unlike more extensive mental health directories, this website only includes sliding scale therapists in the searchable database.

You can choose between seeing a counselor in person or online. When using the database, you can narrow your search down by filtering through:

  • specialities
  • modalities
  • treatment orientation
  • race or ethnicity
  • age
  • language

Go to Open Path Psychotherapy Collective

Best therapy apps


  • Cost: ranges from $69 to $129 a week depending on your subscription plan
  • What it’s best for: consistent teletherapy appointments

Talkspace is one of our top picks for online therapy apps, thanks to its array of subscription plans and payment plans. There are more than 3,000 counselors available with expertise in conditions and concerns like depression, anxiety, addiction, and more.

Prices range from $69 to $129 depending on what subscription you opt for. Plans include text, video, audio messaging, and live sessions. They also offer psychiatry, which costs $249 for an initial evaluation and $120 for follow-up sessions. However, some apps might also have hidden fees or additional subscription fees.

You can use code SPACE to get $100 off your first subscription.

Get started with Talkspace


  • Cost: $60 to $90 a week, billed monthly
  • What it’s best for: teletherapy appointments and financial aid

BetterHelp is an online teletherapy platform and app that offers 24/7 access to your mental health professional. You can have therapy appointments via texts, live chat, phone calls, and video calls. Insurance doesn’t cover BetterHelp costs, which can range anywhere from $60 to $90 a week depending on which plan you choose.

You can also apply for financial aid, which will adjust your pricing based on your income and economic situation. You’ll be asked to fill out a questionnaire to check your eligibility.

Get started with BetterHelp

Best support group resource

Mental Health America

  • Cost: free
  • What it’s best for: finding support through community

Mental Health America lists specialized support group resources on their webpage. If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with a health condition, like cancer or diabetes, hospital social workers can also provide a list of support groups in the community.

Specialized support groups available on the Mental Health America website cover a wide range of conditions and illnesses, from caretakers to people with ADHD.

Go to Mental Health America

What else to know about mental health support groups

People experiencing eating disorders, postpartum depression, alcohol and substance use disorder, and grief or loss may benefit from attending a support group.

There are both local and online options depending on your needs. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, online support groups have risen in popularity to keep patients safe.

You can find groups for various conditions, including:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • bipolar
  • sobriety
  • OCD
  • eating disorders
  • PTSD

Different from individual therapy, support groups connect people with others who are going through a similar experience. While individual therapists often steer clear from giving direct advice, support groups allow people to ask for others’ opinions.

It can also be healing to hear other people share their stories because it reminds you that you’re not alone. This can be especially helpful if you’re coping with a disease, like cancer, or supporting a loved one with a chronic health condition or mental illness.

Similar to individual therapy, it’s important to find a group that meets your needs. Before joining a group, it can be helpful to ask the group leader about the group dynamic (i. e., how their participants engage with one another) and to find out about the structure of the group.

Open-ended groups, like new mom support circles, allow participants to share at any time during the session. Structured groups, especially those that teach participants a set of life skills like mindfulness, may follow a set curriculum each week.

Best online therapy platforms


  • Cost: ranges from $39.95 to $79.95 a week, depending on which plan you choose
  • What it’s best for: mental health professionals who practice cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

This online therapy platform bases its entire foundation on CBT, a form of talk therapy that can help people better identify negative thought patterns and behaviors. Not only can you meet with mental health professionals via teletherapy appointments, but you can also use the site’s array of resources, including worksheets, an online journal, and messaging with your therapist.

There are different subscriptions plans available, but prices range from $39.95 to $79.95 a week. New subscribers also receive 20% off their first month.

Get started with Online-Therapy.com


  • Cost: $99 to $129 a session depending on the therapist
  • What it’s best for: comprehensive mental health care

With Amwell, you can meet with a therapist for talk therapy and a psychiatrist. The site provides counseling for many different mental health concerns, including:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • PTSD or trauma
  • life transitions
  • couples therapy

Visits start at $99, and insurance may cover some of the costs.

Get started with Amwell

Interested in learning more about online therapy?

Here are some more places to get started:

  • best online therapy
  • free online therapy
  • online psychiatry services

CostHighlightsWho it’s best for
FindTreatment. govfreegreat for finding addiction treatmentpeople who are in active recovery
Open Path Psychotherapy Collective$30–$80 per sessiona good choice for finding sliding scale therapistspeople who want to speak with an affordable therapist in person or online
Talkspace$69–$129 per weekcan help you find a therapist to meet with from homepeople who want to develop a long-term relationship with a teletherapist
BetterHelp$60–$90 per weekoffers financial aidpeople who are interested in affordable teletherapy
Mental Health Americafreehelps people find support groupspeople looking for a support group to attend in person or virtually
Online-Therapy.com$39.95–$79.95 per weekprovides resources outside of therapy appointmentspeople interested in using or learning about CBT
Amwell$99–$129 per sessionyou can meet with a therapist and a psychiatrist via the platformpeople who want an all-in-one platform for teletherapy and medication management

You can find free or low cost therapy in a number of different places. The following list includes resources for one-on-one appointments, group therapy, online offerings, and more.

Sliding-scale therapists

Sliding-scale therapists are psychotherapists, psychologists, and social workers who adjust their hourly fee to make therapy more affordable for the client.

Finding this type of therapist may be a good option if you need to pay out of pocket for counseling or if your insurance provider doesn’t offer referrals to specialists.

All mental health professionals are trained to treat general conditions — like anxiety, depression, and adjustment disorders — but not all specialize in treating other conditions, like postpartum depression, complicated grief, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

People seeking help for these types of conditions may benefit from finding a specialist who will slide their scale.

Free or low-income mental health services

If you don’t have health insurance, and you can’t pay out of pocket for mental health care, low-fee or free community mental health clinics can provide the care you need.

These clinics are staffed by psychotherapists and psychologists but often use student psychologists, student mental health counselors, and student social workers who are supervised by licensed, experienced professionals. Services are often provided at no cost or at a remarkably reduced rate.

At the clinics, mental health professionals offer a variety of services, including individual and family counseling, medication management, and substance use disorder counseling. They’re also trained to treat a wide range of psychological conditions, like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

To find a clinic in your local area, contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine or go to MentalHealth.gov. Your primary care physician can also provide recommendations in your community.

Local colleges and universities

Many colleges and universities with mental health practitioner programs may have clinicians-in-training that offer reduced rates. These clinics are usually open to the public, and they offer sliding scales fees that can be as low as $1.

These graduate students are working under the supervision of experienced professionals, so there’s nothing to be wary of. Plus, because they have a limited caseload, they’re likely to spend more time thinking about how to help you.

Some colleges may even have licensed professionals with a master’s or doctoral degree who offer free, time-limited, short-term counseling.

Find an in-network professional

If you have health insurance, call your insurance provider to find out whether they cover mental health services. If they do, ask for the contact information of local service providers who accept your insurance plan.

Many online therapy services take insurance, but it’s important to double-check and ask if everything is covered or if there are copay and deductible amounts.

If you need support for a specific condition, ask for professionals who treat that condition. Your insurance plan may allow you to work with a mental health expert who’s out of network, but at a higher cost.

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)

Your employer may offer therapy services for free through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This voluntary program is set up by workplaces to provide a number of confidential services, like assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and even follow-up help, for free or a reduced cost.

These services are intended to help with any issue that affects your mental or emotional health and, therefore, your work performance. This may include things like:

  • alcohol or substance use
  • psychological disorders, like anxiety and depression
  • stress
  • grief
  • trauma
  • other family issues

Services may be internal (offered onsite at your company) or external (referrals to help in the local community). To find out what services are available where you work, contact your human resources department.

Community resources

Free therapy may also be available in your local community. Finding it may take a little digging. Places like community centers, hospitals, and schools may run free programs, like support groups. Local places of worship — churches, synagogues, temples, etc. — are resources where you might find these types of programs as well.

Contact these organizations directly for more information or look for flyers or online advertisements. You may even hear of these programs by word of mouth or through a healthcare professional.

Publicly funded state-run services may be another option for free or low cost therapy. If you qualify, you will have access to certain professionals that participate in your state’s program. Contact your state’s department of mental health for more information.

Mental health emergencies — like suicidal thoughts, sexual assault, and domestic violence — require immediate care and attention.

If these crises arise, hotlines can be called at any hour of the day. These hotlines are staffed by trained volunteers and professionals who provide emotional support and can connect you with assistance.

Suicide prevention

If you think someone is at immediate risk of self-harm or hurting another person:

  • Call 911 or your local emergency number.
  • Stay with the person until help arrives.
  • Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.
  • Listen, but don’t judge, argue, threaten, or yell.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. Try the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

Other mental health resources

We’re here to help. Explore our evidence-driven reviews of top providers, products, and more to support your physical and emotional well-being.

If you have health insurance, there’s a chance your plan may cover some or all therapy costs.

To find out if your insurance covers therapy or mental health care, log into your plan’s website, which should contain information about your coverage. You can also call your insurance company or even chat with your company’s HR department.

If you find a therapist you want to talk with, you can also ask if they accept your insurance.

How can I afford to see a therapist?

If you feel that you need to talk to a mental health professional but are worried about being able to afford it, you do have options. Low cost therapy may be available through social services, nonprofits, and universities, while some platforms offer financial aid or sliding scales.

If you’ve found a therapist you’d like to start seeing, you can contact them to see if they accept your health insurance. Some of these costs may be covered.

How much is therapy in the United States without insurance?

The average cost of therapy will largely depend on the counselor you’re seeing, how often and long your sessions are, and where you’re located. Generally speaking, an hour-long therapy session can cost anywhere from $65 to $250.

How often should you see a therapist?

The frequency of your therapy appointments will depend on your goals, why you’re in counseling, and what your therapist thinks. You may see your therapist once a week, biweekly, or even once a month, but you can always talk to them about increasing or decreasing the regularity of your appointments.

Finding low cost mental health professionals can be a challenge at first, but there are plenty of resources available. Remember that your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and it shouldn’t have to take a toll on your finances.

If you need help right away, consider looking for a support group or calling your local university. If you have a digital device and an internet connection, telehealth services may also be available to you.

Choosing the right mental health professional doesn’t have to be expensive, and the benefits of having support will be well worth it in the long run.

Read this article in Spanish.

Juli Fraga is a licensed psychologist based in San Francisco, California. She graduated with a PsyD from the University of Northern Colorado and attended a postdoctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley. Passionate about women’s health, she approaches all her sessions with warmth, honesty, and compassion. See what she’s up to on Twitter.

Free and Low-Cost Psychiatry Referrals

The following are local free and low-cost psychiatry resources.

Alameda County Mental Health Care Services - Access Mental Health

(800) 491-9099 
Monday -Friday 8:30 am-5:00 pm
Telephone screening and referrals for people needing psychotherapists and psychiatrists accepting sliding scale or Medi-Cal; also for people with chronic mental illness needing admittance to an Alameda County community mental health center.

Schuman-Liles Clinics

(Accept Medi-Cal.  Same day appointments usually available.)

  • 10850 MacArthur Blvd Ste 300
    Oakland, Ca 94605
    (510) 569-9334
    Monday - Saturday   9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Sausal Creek Outpatient Stabilization Clinic

Serves adult 18+; medication-based clinic; must not be in emergency; walk-in service; must have chronic serious mental illness. 1) Must be Alameda County resident, 2) Must have Medi-Cal, 3) Must have recommendation from Alameda Access 800-491-9099.

  •   2620 26th Avenue
    Oakland, California  94601
    P: (510) 437-2363 
    F: (510) 437-2366

Pathways to Wellness

Psychiatric Evaluation/Assessment; Medication Management/Support Services and Prescription; Individual, Group and Family Therapy; Intensive Case Management Services;

If have Medi-cal, must call Alameda Access to be referred; if have both Medi-cal and Medicare, call phone listed for intake. Private pay scale: $200 for 1st visit, $67 for follow up visits, Individual Therapy: $65-$85

Oakland, CA
1700 Broadway, Suite 500
Oakland, CA 94612
Referrals: (800) 975-PATH (7284)
Phone: (510) 273-4200
Fax: (510) 273-8340

Union City, CA
2608 Central Avenue Suite 1
Union City, CA 94587
Referrals: (800) 975-PATH (7284)
Phone: (510) 675-0600
Fax: (510) 675-0185

Pleasanton, CA
5674 Stoneridge Drive, Suite 205
Pleasanton, CA 94588
Referrals: (800) 975-PATH (7284)
Phone: (925) 520-0066
Fax: (925) 520-0010

Asian Health Services Specialty Mental Health Clinic

Services to children, youth and adults experiencing moderate to severe mental health illness, including: assessment, therapy, medication, case management, crisis intervention, hotline response, prevention and education, advocacy, support and referral services

310 8th Street, Suite 201
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 735-3939

Community Psychiatry

Accepts MediCal and most major insurance.

Offices in Berkeley, Newark, Oakland, Pleasanton, San Francisco, San Jose, San Mateo, Santa Rosa, Sunnyvale, Vacaville, and Walnut Creek.

Highland Hospital & Fairmont Hospital Adult Outpatient Services

For South Alameda County residents, call: (510) 895-4369
For North Alameda County residents, call: (510) 437-4543

Private psychiatric hospital. 24/7 anonymous psychiatric help. Psychiatric clinic Korsakov. Moscow and Moscow region. Hot Line phone: 8 800 555-40-23

  1. MC "Korsakov"
  2. Relatives
  3. Private Psychiatric Hospital

Bada is inexpensively

in private psychiatric clinic "Corsal located in Moscow , you can get advice psychiatrist . We are approached by people suffering from:

  • alcohol, tobacco, drug addiction;
  • neuroses;
  • depressions;
  • panic attacks;
  • schizophrenia.

Free consultation now!

Online consultation with a specialist on your issue!

License number: LO-77-01-019036

The doctors working in our private hospital have extensive experience treatment of psychiatric diseases.

Calling a psychiatrist at home

You can get help from a psychiatrist not only within the walls of the medical center, but also at home. The doctor will examine the patient, assess his condition and give qualified recommendations for further treatment, prescribe medication, and write out a prescription.

Treatment of mental disorders requires a special approach, it is important to choose the right therapy, to minimize the likelihood of breakdowns. If necessary, we place patients from psychiatric problems in a private hospital, where a full examination is carried out, procedures are performed to help get rid of mental disorders, pathological addictions.

Write to WhatsApp


Therapy that we have will be many times more effective than in a public medical institution. In ordinary hospitals, staff often play it safe, prescribing large doses of drugs, we use sparing treatment so as not to harm physical health.

Here you can consult a psychiatrist in private on condition of complete anonymity.

We have modern equipment that allows us to perform a thorough examination and a set of the most popular medicines. Qualified doctors will help you or your loved ones return to normal life, get rid of panic attacks, addiction to alcohol or drugs, depression, neuroses and other mental problems.

Online consultation with a specialist

for your question!

License number: LO-77-01-019036

The length of stay in our center is shorter compared to public hospitals, because we carefully select medicines, constantly monitor the condition of patients, conduct group therapy, use advanced techniques aimed at getting rid of mental disorders.

We have rooms for physiotherapy treatments to improve health. Highly qualified psychologists, psychologists and neurologists work with patients. Individual approach and attentive attitude are guaranteed.

Narcological clinic "KORSAKOV"

8 (800) 555-40-23

(24 hours) Rabochaya 6

Psychiatric clinic "KORSAKOV"

8 (800) 555-40-23

(24 hours)

Moscow, 3rd Cherkizovskaya, 14

Free parking for visitors courtyard of clinics

Field service in all districts of Moscow and Moscow region

emergency call at Vasily Shurov's clinic

Paid ambulance services in Lesnoye. Emergency treatment of newborns, children and adults. Visits of specialized doctors, transportation and hospitalization of patients, diagnostics and sampling at home. Professional nursing care. Medical support.

How do we work?

  • Fast. We accept orders around the clock and seven days a week, we arrive within 15-20 minutes after the call. Our teams are equipped with modern imported cars with regular technical inspection, and drivers use advanced navigation systems and know the area perfectly - all this helps to get an ambulance in the shortest possible time.
  • ·
  • Professional. We have a wide staff of doctors - if necessary, not only resuscitators and therapists come to the call, but also specialized doctors - pediatricians, cardiologists, traumatologists, narcologists, psychiatrists, etc. All our doctors are certified specialists with over 5 years of experience.
  • ·
  • Clear. Our clinic operates under the license of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, and in the treatment we use only high-quality certified drugs and equipment. We also have a clear price list for services, we do not make hidden extra charges.
  • ·
  • Anonymous. We do not share our patient data with government agencies or third parties. When you call a narcologist or a psychiatrist, you may not worry that your loved one will be officially registered.


Our private ambulance provides a wide range of services at home.

Resuscitation - adult, pediatric, neonatal

When you call for emergency help, an experienced anesthesiologist-resuscitator or pediatric resuscitator, accompanied by junior medical staff, comes to your home.

The doctor provides quick and effective assistance in acute disorders:

  • Cardiac or respiratory arrest
  • Heart attacks, infarction and stroke, other circulatory disorders
  • Acute failure of the liver, kidneys and other internal organs
  • Internal bleeding (gastrointestinal, pulmonary, etc.)
  • Exacerbation of condition after operations
  • Acute allergic reactions (anaphylactic shock, angioedema)
  • Asthmatic and epileptic status
  • Severe lung injury
  • Burns, injuries, frostbite
  • Acute poisoning

The resuscitation team is equipped with everything necessary to provide assistance:

  • Defibrillator
  • Ventilator
  • Tracheotomy set
  • Blood Transfusion and General Surgery Kit
  • Oxygen cylinder
  • Physiological Monitoring System
  • Diagnostic equipment
  • A wide range of drugs, including analgesics from list A

If necessary, our team quickly hospitalizes the patient in a state or private clinic. Our doctors are equipped with modern equipment for the safe transportation of adults and children, including newborns.

Profile ambulance

In addition to resuscitation, we provide services of other specialized doctors.

  • Cardiology. A cardiologist or cardiac resuscitator will provide quick assistance if a patient has an acute heart attack, suspected stroke and heart attack, pulse and pressure disturbances (for example, tachycardia and hypertension), exacerbation of chronic heart pathologies - including problems with the work of the pacemaker.
  • Traumatology. We provide quick assistance for burns and frostbite, fractures (including multiple ones), open and closed skull injuries, spinal injuries, any injuries with bleeding and damage to internal organs.
  • Pediatrics. Specialized pediatric team and intensive care pediatrics for the treatment of newborns and children. We provide quick assistance in conditions of any degree of complexity, we diagnose the condition and advise, if necessary, we safely transport the child to the hospital.
  • Toxicology-narcology. We provide treatment for acute poisoning with food, chemicals, medicines and psychotropic substances, including alcohol. Eliminate withdrawal symptoms and hangovers, get out of hard drinking, stop inappropriate behavior against the background of addiction.
  • Psychiatry. Inexpensive psychiatric care: we quickly get rid of increased aggression, psychomotor agitation, delusions and hallucinations, we carry out therapy for the exacerbation of neurotic (panic attacks, etc.), affective (depression, suicidal tendencies, etc.), schizotypal disorders.
  • Obstetrics and gynecology. Our experienced OB/GYNs provide emergency care for pregnant women in case of deterioration, miscarriage or preterm birth, quickly and safely transporting the patient to the hospital.

Patient transport

We also offer fast and safe transportation of patients – including those who are sitting and bedridden:

  • Emergency hospital admission
  • Planned trip from home to clinic and back
  • Transportation from one clinic to another
  • Meeting the patient at the airport or railway station
  • Transportation of bedridden patients around the city, region, country
  • Travel medical support

Transportation is carried out on modern foreign cars equipped with special medical equipment for the safe transportation of patients. Also, our doctors have with them:

  • Adjustable wheelchairs and wheelchairs
  • Vacuum mattresses and stretcher mattresses
  • Soft stretcher for tight spaces
  • Disposable bed linen
  • Diagnostic equipment and medicines

Diagnostics and tests

We also carry out diagnostics and sampling at the patient's home.

  • Diagnostics. Electrocardiogram, ultrasound of internal organs, daily monitoring of ECG and blood pressure.
  • Analyzes. Collection of any biomaterial: smears, urine, feces, blood, nails and hair. PCR tests at home.

Nursing services

We offer professional and careful assistance to junior medical staff:

  • Care of bedridden patients, patients after operations
  • Home dressings and wound care
  • Therapy of bedsores and trophic ulcers
  • Stoma care and removal
  • Enemas
  • Insertion, replacement and removal of the catheter

Medical duty at events

You can also order a private ambulance to accompany events:

  • Sports competitions
  • Festivals and concerts
  • Weddings and other celebrations
  • Other public events

Sick leave

If you do not need serious medical care, but you feel unwell and cannot go to work, our doctor will come to your home and issue a sick leave.

Learn more