What Should I Do if I Can’t Afford Therapy?
You know you want to get some support for the mental health challenges you’re facing. The only problem is therapy can be inaccessible and expensive.
Our dedicated team of therapists at KMA has been providing mental health services in Toronto for over 14 years.
We’re passionate about teaching people how to get the mental health support they need – through our services and beyond.
We’re here to answer your questions about how to make therapy more affordable and help you learn what to do if therapy is out of your budget.
After reading this article, you’ll know the four most common cost questions about therapy, understand different strategies to pay for therapy, and learn learn 5 ways to improve your mental health without therapy.
The Four Most Common Cost Questions About Therapy
1. What therapy services are covered by insurance?
You may know your workplace insurance plan covers visits to dentists or optometrists, but you likely also have coverage for mental health services.
Psychological services, such as counselling from a registered therapist or social worker, are often covered by your workplace insurance plan.
If you don’t have insurance through work, speaking to a psychiatrist or your family doctor about mental health is covered by OHIP.
It’s important to review your plan to learn what therapy services your insurance covers and how much coverage you have.
2. What is “sliding-scale” therapy?
“Sliding-scale” rates mean that the hourly cost for therapy services will vary based on your income, making therapy services more accessible to more people.
You’ll be able to pay an adjusted rate per session depending on your salary.
If you don’t have insurance or your insurance plan is limited, then finding a therapist with sliding-scale rates is a great option.
The Affordable Therapy Network is an excellent resource for finding low-cost and sliding-scale therapy options in the GTA.
3. Are therapy apps cheaper than traditional therapy offices?
Yes, therapy apps are typically cheaper than traditional therapy services.
If sliding-scale rates are out of your budget, receiving support through a therapy app is a good alternative. Therapy apps often offer coupon codes or discounts that you can access through a quick Google search.
Online therapy and therapy apps also save you money by eliminating transportation costs and travel time – you’ll often be able to fit therapy sessions in without altering your work schedule.
Researching therapy apps vs. in-person therapy will help you decide whether this is a good option.
4. What are alternatives to therapy?
Exploring free resources online, including guides and courses, can be a great strategy to support your mental health.
- Stella’s Place offers free downloadable resources, including guides and journal prompts. They also provide free counselling services for people between the ages of 16 and 29.
- The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health offers free online courses to learn about mental health topics like depression.
- Wellness Together Canada also offers a range of free online courses to help you learn more about anxiety, mental wellness, and managing your mood.
Improving Your Mental Health Without Therapy
Even after learning about affordable therapy options and alternatives, you may still want to try out other ways to improve your mental health.
5 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health Without Paying for Therapy
- Spend more time moving your body
- Explore mindfulness, journaling, and gratitude exercises
- Get more sunshine - exposure to sunlight can boost your mood
- Support your mind by nourishing your body - ensure you’re getting proper vitamins and nutrients
- Create intentional space in your day for rest - whether you need a mid-day nap or a mood-boosting walk around the block
Beginning to improve your mental health can be daunting, but one small step a day adds up to a big difference over time.
Next Steps for Improving Your Mental Health
After reading this article, you know about affordable therapy options and alternatives to attending therapy.
At KMA Therapy, our therapy services are covered by most insurance plans under “Psychological Services.”
We also offer sliding-scale rates on a case by case basis.
During your 50-minute introductory session, we’ll establish a therapy plan that fits both your mental health and financial needs.
If you aren’t ready to book an appointment, read these articles for more information:
- To learn more about therapy apps, read: In-Person Therapy or Therapy App: Which is Right for Me?
- If your mental health is affecting your work, read: Why Burnout is More Than Just Stress - and How to Fix It
- To learn how to make the most out of your therapy sessions, read: How to Make Better Progress in Therapy