How can I find counseling with no money to spare?
February 24, 2007 7:42 AM   Subscribe

I desperately need to see a therapist/counselor in Providence, RI, but I have no money. Where should I go and who should I talk to?

I've wanted to see a therapist for a while about ongoing depression/anxiety issues, but a couple of events in the past few days have made me feel completely on the brink. I really, really need to talk to somebody. The problem is that I am *just* making ends meet financially (by which I mean that my bank account gets down to single digits at the end of every month, after rent, food, and utilities--literally no money to spare). I have no health insurance of any kind.

Are there and free clinics or other professionals who might give me a substantially reduced rate? Ideally I'd like to find someone for the long haul, but right now I really just want to talk to someone a couple-three times. I'm feeling drowned.

It's probably important to note that I am *not* in any way suicidal. Despite my depressive tendencies, this has never been an issue for me in the slightest. I'm just feeling unable to work or function at all at the moment.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Many therapists have income-based sliding scales. Just call them up and ask.
posted by IndigoRain at 8:01 AM on February 24, 2007

I know you're not suicidal, but I think you might try calling a suicide hotline. It sounds like you're having a really hard time coping with things, and this kind of major acute depression is something such a hotline will want to help you with, whether or not you've actually stocked up on pills and booze. They should be able to direct you to helpful community resources.
posted by thirteenkiller at 8:09 AM on February 24, 2007

You might check into local universities with a graduate program in counseling. Students have to do a certain number of supervised hours of counseling for their licensing, and sometimes their services are available to the public for low cost. My wife took advantage of this for a time and found it very helpful.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:16 AM on February 24, 2007

Tack on to what IndigoRain has said... just call a therapist and ask. If they can't see you, THEY WILL KNOW WHERE TO REFER YOU.
posted by matty at 8:36 AM on February 24, 2007

Here is the location and contact info for the Providence area Rhode Island Community Mental Health Center. They should be able to assist you. They focus on severe mental health issues, but probably have a counseling staff who could see you, or at the very least could tell you who else you could call.
posted by cerebus19 at 9:41 AM on February 24, 2007

If it is literally a case of needing to have a friendly, supportive person to listen to you call the Samaritans or similar hotline. This might tie you over until you have worked out how to afford counselling.
posted by koahiatamadl at 9:42 AM on February 24, 2007

This page at Mental Health America has some good information on paying for services without much money. They also have a crisis hotline: 1-800-273-TALK.
posted by cerebus19 at 9:51 AM on February 24, 2007

Oh, and here's the website for the Samaritans of Rhode Island.

I hope everything looks up for you soon.
posted by cerebus19 at 9:54 AM on February 24, 2007

If you do have the energy to call around, this is Psycholgy Today's list of counselors in Providence. As IndigoRain said, many should have sliding scale or low-cost rates.

Otherwise, I think the community mental health center cerebus19 linked to is a great place to start.
posted by occhiblu at 10:09 AM on February 24, 2007

I live in Providence and have been to the Community Health Centers for my regular medical care - if you call them, they would definitely know where to refer you. They take patients without health insurance all the time and I know that they offer a sliding fee and would be able to tell you about mental health providers who would do the same.

Also, St. Joseph's Hospital has an outpatient clinic that takes patients without insurance, if it's an absolute EMERGENCY, go there and get a referral!

The Providence Center provides treatment for mental health issues, but I'm not sure what their rates are like. Actually, if I were you, I'd call them first and explain your situation and see what they recommend.

I'm not in therapy myself, but I have several friends who are and have found really good therapists, so I know that they're around! Best of luck!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:52 AM on February 24, 2007

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