By Nestor Velez
After two attempted suicides I knew I needed to make a change in my life. Naturally, I saw traditional therapy as the answer to my problems. So I started my search for the perfect therapist that would help me turn my life around.
On top of dealing with depression, anxiety and stress, finding the right therapist at a price I was able to afford added more stress. Even with insurance, over time the co-pay just seemed unaffordable. But, I wanted to meet with someone weekly to ensure I get the results I wanted. This search was quickly turning into a nightmare for me. I emailed, called and left voicemails for a couple therapists I felt were a good match. After a couple days of waiting and receiving no responses, I ultimately gave up the search as it only added to the issues I was dealing with at the time.
Of the many reasons people don’t seek out therapy, I believe that one of the biggest reasons is money. Many people see the hourly rates for therapists, which may range anywhere from $50 — $300 per hour, and assume they can’t afford it. If you find a therapist that accepts insurance, the co-pay can add up over time as well and you may just completely opt out of therapy.
There are some other options out there.
- Training Clinics — These are sessions with graduate students that are supervised by a licensed psychologist. The fees vary by clinic and can be as low as $0 if you qualify.
- Free/Low Cost/Sliding Scale Clinics — These clinics offer services that are free or on a sliding scale based on your income. For more information and a list of a clinic in your area search here
- Community Mental Health Centers — Community Mental Health Centers offer low cost up to free services covered by Medicaid.
- Support Groups — These groups are typically free or very low cost and they are run by a mental health professional.
- The Internet & Self-Help — There are resources on the internet where you can find information on any issues you may be going through.
I eventually took matters into my own hands. I am not recommending this approach to anyone, this is just how I was able to overcome my issues. I decided to start researching depression and anxiety to understand what it really was that I was experiencing. I did a lot of reading about both. Once I started to understand what it was that I was dealing with, I started reading about ways to overcome them. There were a lot of articles with steps to overcome depression and anxiety, and although they were helpful, there was still something missing. I needed more if I was truly going to win this battle.
One day I decided to go to YouTube and search, “therapist speaking about depression and anxiety.” I didn’t find much, but I did come across one therapist with tons of videos. I listened to each video for the next month. It was only after listening to those videos and putting what I learned into action when I started to feel like I was starting to win this battle with depression and anxiety. Anytime I felt depressed or anxious, I’d come back and listen to certain videos on the page.
There was only one problem. There wasn’t much else out there. If there were any other videos like these, they were hard to find. That’s where I got the idea for sanoMind . One app dedicated to a vast array of mental health audio content recorded by licensed mental health professionals.
Launching soon, sanoMind is a mental health wellness app that connects people to audio content recorded by licensed therapists. I believe that anyone anywhere should have access to some form of mental health help regardless of income. sanoMind will always be free for people everywhere.
I am not saying therapy isn’t needed, there are many benefits to therapy and many people come out better after it. We just want to be the app you come to when you want to learn more about what you’re going through, need a little help instantly and or have no other options.
It is our mission to help one person at a time and through that, cause a ripple effect that will change the world through mental health…
Also published on Medium.