Ways to care for your mental health if you can’t afford therapy

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It’s no secret that the American healthcare system is in dire need of repair. It’s tough to get the care you need, even if you do have health insurance, because it’s so expensive. And for mental healthcare, it’s even harder because many therapists don’t accept insurance or aren’t taking new patients.

Ways to care for your mental health

Fortunately, there are a host of things that you can do to care for your mental health even if you don’t have access to therapy. I spoke to some experts, and here’s what they say are surefire ways to stay sane in an often-insane world.

Attend 12 step meetings

No matter where you are, be it urban, suburban, or rural, in every city and town in the United States, there is a 12 step meeting within a reasonable distance from your home. And if you reach out, there’s someone who will make sure you get there safely, and back home too.

Christopher Gerhart, a licensed and certified substance abuse counselor, told me, “Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), and Narcotics Anonymous offer some of the best therapy you can buy for $1.00 per hour. Yes, these groups may not be the best fit for every person; however, they are a place where people are seeking a solution.” So even if you aren’t struggling with addiction, you are still welcome, and you will be given support.

Gerhart continued, “A quick caveat: show up early and stay late so that you can meet the people who are actively involved. Just like work, school, or church, those that are enthusiastic about their participation spend some time there.” So as long as there are 12 step groups, you’ll never be alone.

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