06 Jul

06 July 2022

 

They say nothing is more important than your mental health but tell that to an empty bank account. It is easy to spout platitudes about getting the help you need, but everyone has a financial reality to deal with. Your mental health is unlikely to improve if you cannot pay bills or put food on the table, so the help you need and the help you can afford are not always the same.

 

But no matter what you are dealing with, there are a few low-cost options that can make a real difference in your mental health and needs. In this blog, UASA has put together a few of these options to try out and get the assistance that you need:

 

Free meditation apps

Meditation may be the least expensive and most effective way to boost your mental health. Meditating regularly has been proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and ease physical pain. You can start meditating for five minutes at a time and work your way up until you can sit between 10 and 20 minutes. Meditating, just like budgeting, rewards those who adopt a regular practice.

 

Befriend nature

Research shows that being outside in nature can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. You do not need an exotic or national park to experience the benefits. Just find a local hiking trail or walk in a neighbourhood park. Doing this a couple of times a week can improve your mood, and all you have to pay for is a few resources.

 

Look through your employer’s resources

Some employers provide wellness programs, including visits with a licensed mental health worker. Although some companies limit the number of free or discounted sessions, it is an excellent place to start if you are new to therapy. Speak to your Human Resources department about what the employer assistance program entails.

 

Consider group therapy options

While one-on-one therapy can work better, it can also be more expensive. Opting for group therapy can save up to 50% while providing access to a qualified professional. You can even search for group therapy sessions that focus on a specific issue, like Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or eating disorders. While you may not get the same level of attention in group therapy, these sessions usually meet more frequently.

 

Find sliding-scale therapists 

Some therapists provide services on a sliding scale, which means the cost per session depends on your income. The less you earn, the less you will pay. If a therapist does not mention sliding scale fees on their website, contact them personally and ask. You never know what kind of discount they may offer.

 

Some local community health centers also have affordable therapy sessions. If you have trouble finding one online, call your primary care doctor and ask for some recommendations. Your mental health is a priority, a ticket to a healthy lifestyle, and you must take care of it.

 

Ref: www.mint.intuit.com                                                           www.uasa.org.za

 

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