Author: Manojj Dhinakaran
With the ongoing pandemic, Mental Health has become a priority in almost all areas of life. Stress, depression and anxiety have been on the increase way more than usual. Counselling Therapy and Psychological Intervention are required now more than ever to the benefit of the general public.
An Expensive Affair: But counselling at large is an expensive affair as this is a time-consuming process that often requires more than one sitting just to understand the underlying problems of the client. The charges range anywhere from $75 to $200 on average per session given that this cost is also spent for reasons like office rents, training etc. The money charged is often spent entirely for the client’s benefit to make them feel comfortable and safe. With the lack of good facilities and adequacy in the number of counsellors, often there is a high demand that directly impacts the charges. Affordable
Counselling: But the good news is that some alternatives and facilities provide counselling therapy for free or at a reduced cost, especially for school and college students. These are existing on humanitarian grounds for the betterment of the clients who can’t afford them in the first place. They all do this because of ethical and moral concerns that come with mental health, and their understanding of its importance. To access quality therapy at affordable prices is a basic need for all.
Sliding Scale Counsellors: These are professional counsellors who charge the clients based on their income, which is a reflection of how much they can pay for the sessions. This often requires documentation of income as proof to avail these services. Based on the documentation, the charges for the sessions will be reduced considerably. Most of the counsellors provide sliding scale therapy. Pro bono
Counsellors: Professional counsellors and therapists provide counselling sessions free of cost to clients outside their work hours. Sometimes they even don’t charge the clients who find it difficult to pay for them. By ethical standards, all mental health professionals provide pro bono counselling for at least two clients as a part of their work to serve the society. So, ask your counsellor if they do or know someone who can offer pro bono services.
Institutions/College/School Counsellors: Some institutions, schools and colleges provide counselling as a part of their facility to the benefit of the students. This allows students to avail the services for free of cost. Some of these facilities are even open to the public where they can get the required help at a very low cost or even for free. Do check with your local institutions if they provide these services.
Student Counselling Services: These are pro bono counselling sessions provided by trainee students or professionals who are new to the field. They are under the direct supervision of licenced experienced professionals who guide them in the process. Remember they may not provide crisis counselling that involves serious mental health conditions but will be open to addressing clients with mild to moderate symptoms. They provide quality care and spend more time over clients than a regular professional would. In most of the elite institutions, it is mandatory and legalised to provide these services to the benefit of the public.
Crisis Helplines: These are the facilities that are run by both Governmental and Non-governmental organisations that are specifically designed to help people in mental health crises with suicidal thoughts or other severe problems. They give support and aid to the afflicted or guide them to any of the nearest resources that may render help. Every county has a list of toll-free numbers who work 24x7 to the benefit of the people that can be accessed through a simple Google search. We have made a curated list of helplines in our bio if needed for your benefit.
Mental health is not a matter of negotiation. It is a priority paramount. Every individual has the right to access help in terms of mental health help in any form or manner and not be denied of it.