It is essential to take care of your mental healthImage via Pixabay

What to do if you can’t afford therapy in South Africa?

It is essential to take care of your mental health, but not everyone can afford therapy in South Africa. Here’s a few options if you are struggling.


It is essential to take care of your mental healthImage via Pixabay

Therapy in South Africa is crucial to anyone struggling with mental health challenges. However, sessions with a licensed therapist may be expensive for those experiencing financial difficulties. Therapy sessions can cost between R400 to R1,200 per session. This amount can vary depending on the therapist you choose and the amount of sessions you require. If you are struggling with your mental health, there are some alternatives you choose while you save up for therapy. 

How to get help when you can’t afford therapy in South Africa

The economy in South Africa isn’t the best right now, but it is important to prioritise your mental health. Even if you can’t afford therapy for the long-term, budgeting even a few sessions can go a long way. If consulting with a therapist is definitely not an option right now, here are other options you take to improve your mental health:

Consult the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG)

SADAG is a non-profit mental health organisation that offers a variety of free services and resources to South Africans. The organisation offers a toll-free hotline for those who are struggling with their mental health. You can access their suicide hotline on 0800 567 567 or visit their website for more hotlines and free resources.

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Call LifeLine South Africa

LifeLine is another non-profit organisation that offers free counselling to people in need. The organisation has a 24/7 toll-free crisis support (that can be reached on 0861 322 322), an online chat, as well as email support. All counselling services are kept anonymous and confidential.

Ask your insurance company about therapy options

Some medical aids in South Africa can cover mental health services. It’s important to check with your provider to see if therapy is covered. Even if the medical aid doesn’t cover the full costs of therapy, it can help you to reduce a large bill over time.

Look for therapists with flexible payment options

Always do your research when it comes to therapists. Some therapists may be open to providing you with flexible payment options that will help you to meet monthly bills. Others may have sliding scale fees, meaning they will charge you a reasonable price based on your income. Just make sure the therapist you choose is licensed and reputable.

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Religious organisations or institutions

Are you a member of a religious organisation or institution? You can consult the group to find out if they offer group counselling sessions. These sessions will help you to talk about your problems in a shared and safe space.

Read self help books

Self-help books can be helpful for those dealing with mental health challenges. You can learn more about mental health and how to develop healthier coping skills. You can also access online resources such as research articles and videos.

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Practice mindfulness

Stress is a major contributor for mental health challenges such as anxiety. Mindfulness can improve your mental health by reducing stress and anxiety symptoms. There are plenty of affordable and free mindfulness apps out there, such as Headspace, Insight Timer and Calm. These apps will help you to incorporate guided meditation and mindfulness exercises into your daily life.

Lifestyle changes

Regular exercise and improving your sleep quality can help you to reduce stress. It is also a healthier coping mechanism than turning to alcohol or junk food. Take up a hobby that helps you to stay active and try to eat a healthy, balanced diet. This will help you reduce your medical bills and financial anxiety down the line.
Therapy in South Africa can be expensive, but there are many free and affordable options available to you. If you need urgent help, contact Suicide Crisis Line in South Africa at 0800 567 567.

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