Getting Help without Money or Insurance

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I am aware that I have some serious problems that need attention. I have a very dark past, which I could spend a lot of time elaborating on but no one wants to read the novel of my life. The short version is ever since I was a young child life has dealt me a bad hand. Physical and emotional abuse, my parents ugly divorce, being abandoned and taken advantage of by people I trusted, being bullied at school and at work, attempted suicide, self harm, just to name the big ones. I’ve always struggled to cope with these things, but I guess its messed me up because when attempting to self-diagnose using the internet my symptoms match up with everything from aspergers to all types of schizophrenia. And I have had these symptoms since I was about ten. They are so bad that I truly struggle to function in the general population, and just can’t change myself no mater how hard I try.

So today I am 20 years old, and have decided to write because I feel I am teetering on the edge. I recently lost my job and my home, and I have gotten so much worse. I don’t even know what else to say. I am a train wreck and every day think about ending it all for good. I know I need help. But I just don’t have the means. I don’t know what to do. I don’t belong in the world, so leaving it just seems like the logical thing to do. But for the sake of my friends (all two of them) whom I love, I have to try. This is my last ditch effort. My question is, how do I get professional help for this with no money or insurance?

A. I’m glad that you are willing to seek help. You may feel like things are very bad for you, especially after recently losing your job and your home but there is help, especially for someone like you who wants help.

Problems are a part of life. We all have them, sometimes more than other times, and some people have more problems than others do. The key to dealing with life problems is possessing strong problem-solving skills. Not everyone has these skills, mainly because not everyone has had the opportunity to learn them. Sometimes, our caregivers don’t possess these skills and thus can’t teach us what they themselves don’t know.

Not having health insurance might make accessing professional help more difficult but it is still possible. Community mental health centers offer free or low-cost services. Typically, when you make an appointment, you will be asked about your level of income and at that point it will be determined how much each psychotherapy session will cost. Often, people without a steady income do not have to pay. Contact your local community mental health center to determine the cost of services.

You can also contact the local health department who can advise you about free or low-cost psychological services in your community.

Is there a university or college in your town? If so, these institutions may offer free or low-cost psychological services. You can determine what services are available, perhaps by checking the institutions’ websites.

Some universities also have opportunities to participate in psychological research. Participants are often compensated and given treatment that may include medication or psychotherapy. Participating in a research study may be a way to receive free treatment and compensation for your time and effort.

It’s important to view your situation through the proper perspective. You lost your job and your home. Anyone in your situation would be feeling hurt but don’t assume that your life will always be this difficult. There are many ups and downs in life. It’s important to continue to be resilient and to seek the proper mental health assistance to help you through this difficult time. I hope you’re able to find the help that you desire. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Jul 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Getting Help without Money or Insurance. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 1, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/07/13/getting-help-without-money-or-insurance/