www.opencounseling.com - OpenCounseling
A community counseling agency is a group therapy practice that offers affordable mental health services. Most are independent non-profit agencies, state agencies, or publicly-funded agencies. A few may restrict who is eligible for services, so it is a good idea to check when you call.
Community counseling agencies are generally more affordable than other therapy providers, but how much more affordable they are will depend on whether you qualify for a discount or sliding scale fee (or if they accept your insurance). Many, but not all, have a policy that they won't turn away anyone due to inability to pay. You should ask about their fees when you first call.
Expect to talk to kind people who want to help you find the care you need. Most community agencies strive to connect you with a live person within 24 hours, if not immediately. If you're asked to hold or leave a message, don't give up; just leave a message and wait. You should hear back pretty quickly.
Most agencies try to set up an initial assessment appointment within a week (some do within 24 hours), though the waitlist to start therapy is usually longer—about a few weeks on average. If you're not eligible or if the agency is not right for you, it's usually still worth it to call or drop in, because staff are knowledgeable about local options and can often refer you to one.