The Internet is a wonderful place. From the answers to the latest problem set to the location of your next one-night-stand, anything you could want to know about is just a few clicks away. One of the most important resources that the Internet offers though, especially in light of the fact that May is Mental Health Awareness Month, is a variety of tools and services that can help YOU stay on top of your mental wellness game.
Seeing a therapist in real life can quickly get expensive, and often be impractical with the fast-paced, busy nature of most of our lives. Luckily, for nominal fees that often undercut even insurance-subsidized therapy, there are a multitude of online therapy options, all of which work through a variety of different pricing and therapy models. Here are some of the best:
Breakthrough is essentially Yelp for therapists. It lets you search through available therapists, using a variety of filters like location and insurance plan compatibility. It even lets you message potential therapists to find the best fit, before letting you schedule an online appointment that you can complete right in your browser!
While similar to Breakthrough, Grace Tree has the added advantage of offering email, direct chat, or phone conversations for therapy sessions, thus catering to audiences who may prefer one form of communication over another. Unfortunately, it isn’t quite as Tinder-esque as Breakthrough, but with a highly qualified pool of staff, that should not prove to be too much of an issue.
A somewhat unique offering, Talkspace operates in a manner somewhat similar to the “Let’s Talk” initiative on campus that offers low-commitment therapy when you want it, where you want it. All you need to do is navigate to the website, enter your questions or concerns into the box in the middle of the screen, and bam: you’re connected with an appropriate therapist who will then guide you through the next steps of setting up your account, and scheduling regular online sessions.
Not sure if online therapy is for you? Slide over to Proven Therapy, and take their free consultation before deciding if you want to pay for a service. If you decide to use it, you’re charged either by the minute, or per session. Don’t want to pay? Proven Therapy also has an active user forum where people can post questions for free.
With the goal of making mental health care affordable and accessible to everyone, BetterHelp provides a low-cost therapy solution: a private chatroom for you and your counsellor. No matter when, you can type in your thoughts or feelings, and your assigned counsellor shall respond. Like Proven Therapy, BetterHelp also offers a free period, though in this case it’s a whole week’s worth of therapy as a trial.
That said, even if none of these are appealing, technology can still be one of the best things for your mental wellness, if used judiciously. The simple ability to place a phone call, or send a text message when you’re feeling low can boost a bad day, and make it better. The availability of online mood-diaries can be instrumental in helping you find patterns underlying mental wellness slumps, and help you be proactive when it comes to keeping on top of your psychological well-being.