Finding a therapist and an affordable one with or without insurance can be really hard.

But cost shouldn’t be the reason that keeps you out of the counselor’s chair and away from mental health resources.

The COVID-19 pandemic flipped the world upside down and showed the importance of mental health.

But, people have struggled with the new normal.

“The pandemic created a lot of isolation, a lot of anxiety, a lot of stress, job losses, and uncertainty, right at a global level,” said Eduardo Gloria, CEO of Catholics Charities of the Diocese of Venice.

People have lost jobs and loved ones.

“Research shows that counseling works,” said Alise Bartley, director of the Community Counseling Center at FGCU. “It decreases the symptoms, the mental health issues that the client is experiencing.”

But sometimes, counseling is just not in the budget.

Insurance might not cover it or the therapist you finally found and like doesn’t take insurance because it’s a hassle.

“It is very hard in order to gain access to care if you don’t have the funds in order to get that care,” said Margeaux Philpot, an FGCU master’s student.

Philpot is getting her master’s in mental health counseling.

At the same time, she works at the university’s Community Counseling Center offering therapy to the community virtually or in-person on a sliding scale.

“I feel that I am able to make a difference and I hope to be able to continue to make that difference even after I graduate and go out into the field,” Philpot said.

Philpot and her classmates are watched over by Bartley as they work at the Community Counseling Center.

It costs $25 an hour or whatever you make an hour, whichever is less.

Right now, their oldest client is 90.

“Our average session rate is eight, which means that we’re providing good enough care for our clients that they want to continue seeing us,” Bartley said.

Catholic Charities of Collier County also does its best to make therapy accessible to everyone.

“We recognize that mental health is as critical as some primary things like housing, food, even education, …….


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