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Where to Find Free Mental Health Resources During the Pandemic

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Where to Find Free Mental Health Resources During the Pandemic

Image: ShutterstockIf you feel like you’re struggling with your mental health, you’re not alone. Many of us are dealing with profound uncertainty and unanticipated stress, whether we’re worried about our health, our finances, our families, or how we’re going to make it through the next month of physical distancing and self-isolation.Which means mental health resources…

Where to Find Free Mental Health Resources During the Pandemic

Illustration for article titled Where to Find Free Mental Health Resources During the Pandemic

Image: Shutterstock

If you feel like you’re struggling with your mental health, you’re not alone. Many of us are dealing with profound uncertainty and unanticipated stress, whether we’re worried about our health, our finances, our families, or how we’re going to make it through the next month of physical distancing and self-isolation.

Which means mental health resources are more important than ever—and making the time to access those resources is just as crucial. Even if you’re trying to balance working at home while homeschooling children and figuring out when to make your next grocery run, taking some time for self-care and mental health care will benefit not only you, but also your entire family.

If you are currently working with a therapist, you may still have the option to attend virtual therapy sessions. These (probably) won’t be free, but they’ll provide a way for you to continue processing your anxieties and mental health concerns in the company of someone you trust.

For the rest of us—or for those of us who might need to cut back on paid therapy sessions due to unexpected layoffs, reduced income, etc.—here are some free mental health resources to consider.

7 Cups offers free support chat rooms and the opportunity to connect with volunteer listeners online. You can also sign up for confidential online therapy with licensed therapists for $150/month.

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10 Percent Happier put together a free Coronavirus Sanity Guide that includes meditations, blog posts, podcasts, and talks. All coronavirus-related meditations in the 10 Percent Happier app are currently free of charge, and healthcare workers can get access to the entire app for free.

Headspace has made three of its Weathering the Storm meditations available to everyone, no membership required. Headspace is offering free Headspace Plus memberships to U.S. health professionals working in public health settings, and has additional free Headspace resources for educators and for employers.

Simple Habit, another popular meditation app, is offering free Simple Habit Premium memberships through the end of April to anyone who is unable to afford the standard subscription.

If you’d rather talk to someone than listen to a meditation, New Yorkers can call the Office of Mental Health’s Emotional Support Hotline to connect with a volunteer with training in crisis counseling. You might also be able to set up a free phone appointment with a mental health professional; when Governor Andrew M. Cuomo asked mental health professionals to help staff the hotline during the pandemic, he got 6,000 volunteers.

If you’re not in New York, you may still be able to access an emotional support hotline. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, has a directory of hotlines and warmlines organized by state. You can also call the NAMI HelpLine directly for free peer-to-peer support and resource options.

If your coronavirus anxiety is more along the lines of “how do I know if I have the coronavirus, should I get tested, and how do I keep my loved ones safe,” While At Home is a new resource designed to connect you to the appropriate health-related hotline.

Lastly, if you need domestic violence support, call or text the National Dom

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