Caregiving can undoubtedly take a toll on your mental health, as studies show it can create “physical and psychological strain over extended periods of time,” usually led by feelings of unpredictability throughout your day. Plus, being a working caregiver leaves you with an even crazier and more stressful work week—and what’s more challenging than a schedule that doesn’t give you the flexibility you need to take time for yourself?
If you’re seeking emotional relief while facing endless time constraints throughout your day, virtual therapy is an excellent resource to try. Online counseling can meet your mental health needs without any interruptions to your caregiving routine. While the various services all range in price, these five online therapy options can provide you with the support you need without ever having to leave your home.
Alma is an online therapy platform that caters to clients trying to find in-network therapists. With a mission to handle “every interaction with humility and empathy,” Alma is a great option for users who don’t want to spend a lot of money for therapy treatment. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reports that Alma’s unique software makes it easier to lower administrative costs and negotiate better rates—benefiting both providers and clients who don’t want to pay expensive out-of-pocket fees.
The Alma website provides a directory that helps you filter through providers based on your insurance. Alma also offers a mix of virtual and in-person counseling sessions, which can be a great choice if you’re seeking more of a hybrid option. While there’s no set price, clients are able to choose a professional therapist based on their financial capacities and find a price that’s best for them.
With more than 25,000 licensed therapists, BetterHelp is known as the world’s largest online counseling service. According to the company’s website, each weekly session can range from $60 to $90, so you can expect to pay an estimated $240 to $360 each month. This makes BetterHelp one of the more affordable therapy options depending on how often you want to talk to a therapist.
Not only does this app allow you to speak with a counselor via video or phone call, but you can also take advantage of their text-based therapy. These conversations don’t have to be held in real time, giving you more flexibility to communicate at times that are most convenient for you. You’ll start with a questionnaire to help find a therapist best suited for you and the issues you want to discuss. You’ll then create a private account and input payment information, and you’ll then be directed to a counselor that matches your preferences! Here are some online comments from users:
If you’re searching for a woman-friendly counseling site, Hers online therapy offers a safe space for you to discuss your emotional needs. Ranging from a one-time session to monthly visits, this telehealth company sets you up with online therapists where you can chat on a video call so you never have to leave the comfort of your own home! Each session costs $99.
In addition to accessible therapy, Hers also allows you to book a free consultation if you’re seeking anxiety or depression medication—allowing you the ability to get your counseling and medication needs met within the same space! When signing up, you can expect to pay $25 for medication within the first month of your membership, which also includes unlimited provider evaluations, medication adjustments and follow-up appointments. Afterward, you can sign up for an $85 monthly subscription or pay only $49 for three months.
This app takes a nontraditional approach to therapy: Instead of talking with a counselor, Happify turns therapy into activities and games that can help improve your emotional well-being. When signing up, you’ll fill out an assessment that helps identify what areas you struggle with, allowing Happify to build exercises around your specific goals. Similar to a video game, each journal or game lets you “level up” each time you complete one, allowing you to unlock more in-app games as you keep playing.
Although Happify shouldn’t be used as an alternative for clinical treatment, it can be used as a great tool for increasing confidence and your overall attitude toward life. Happify is advertised as free to use when signing up; however, if you want to access more features, it will cost $14.99 per month (or $139.99 per year) to upgrade to Happify Plus. According to the company’s website, 86% of users claim they feel happier after using Happify for two months.
Similar to Hers, Minded is another useful option if you’re seeking medication for your mental health treatment. According to its website, the process includes three simple steps:
- Find a treatment plan: You first complete an online assessment to list why you’re seeking treatment and medication. Next, you meet with a psychiatrist through an online video call and discuss your mental health needs.
- Meet back with your provider every month: If you start any meds, it’s important to check in with your psychiatrist to make sure everything is going well. This is the perfect time to see if you need any refills or adjustments to your medication.
- Contact a professional nursing team: Do you have any questions you forgot to ask your provider during your last session? Minded’s website has a panel of various nurse practitioners who can help guide you anytime you need help or whenever you’re not able to see your provider.
Minded is a great option if you’re looking for a low-cost subscription, as your first month will only cost you $25. And depending on your location, your prescription can also either be delivered to you or sent to a nearby pharmacy. Minded is currently only available in seven states; however, co-founder and CEO David Ronick said in a TechCrunch article that new funding for the company will help expand treatment options to more than 30 states.