Finding Help

Finding Help

If you’re wondering where to go for mental health help, here are some of the types of places you can go that are easily accessible to you:

To find a therapist, follow one of the links below:

To find specific culturally competent care (therapists who may share your background or culture), use one of the resources listed under the Mental Health in Marginalized Communities tab.

Suicide Is Never the Answer.

Thoughts of suicide can be frightening. But we can avoid devastating outcomes by reaching out for help or checking in with friends and family. Suicidal thoughts are a symptom, just like any other – they can be treated and improve over time. If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available.  

Call 911 if you need emergency medical assistance for a life-or-death situation involving yourself or others.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA): If you, or someone you know, needs help with a substance abuse or mental health disorder, contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889, or texting your zip code to 435748 (HELP4U), or using SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator to get help.

Charlotte-Area Resources

Mental Health Treatment Options

Finding a Mental Health Therapist or Peer Support Group

If you have access, your first action should be to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider. They can provide initial mental health screenings, refer you to mental health specialists, and help you develop a well-documented paper trail of your quest for mental health support. If you have an appointment scheduled soon with your primary care provider and are struggling to maintain your mental health, voice your concerns and ask for help.

Federal Resources

Paying for Mental Health Treatment

The most crucial part of recovering from a mental health issue is receiving adequate care from a qualified doctor or mental health practitioner. Unfortunately, mental health treatments can be costly, and affordable insurance that covers the cost of these treatments is difficult to get in the United States.

Regardless of your insurance status, there are many low-cost options, including sliding scale services and payment assistance from different institutions that you may qualify for. Don’t let your finances stop you from getting the mental health treatment you need to live a healthy, fulfilled life. Learn about your options at the resources below:

Paying for Care:

Paying for Medications:

It is essential to let your doctor know if you cannot afford your prescriptions. In some cases, they may be able to give you free samples of your medications, switch you to generic drugs or less expensive brand-name prescription drugs, or switch you to an authorized generic form. Check to see if your medication can be substituted for a generic brand here.

  • Mental Health America of Central Carolinas: East Charlotte has a free mental health clinic with a mission of caring for communities of color. This center will help increase the number of mental health professionals of color and provide mental health resources (in-person and online), food, housing, and employment resources.
  • Mental Health Professionals: If you’re wondering how to ask for mental health help, the answer is to make an appointment with a mental health professional. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, millions of people in the U.S. talk to mental health professionals regularly. Don’t be afraid to get the help you need.
  • School Counselors: Counselors are there to help students with their mental wellness. School counselors are a great, free resource if you're struggling with mental health.
  • Youth Centers: Youth centers like the YMCA help you foster good social skills, learn about leadership, build self-esteem, and more. Some even offer mental health resources (like this mental health resource hub) to ensure you can get the help you need. Joining a youth center is also a great way to access different activities you can use as a part of your self-care practice.
  • Support Groups: Struggling with something specific? Support groups are a great way to join other teens who struggle with the same issues as you. For example, support groups might be a better option if you feel pressure in one-on-one therapy. A facilitator will ask questions to get the conversation going, and all the focus won’t be on you. Instead, you can ask a school counselor or other mental health professional about what support groups are available.
  • Residential Treatment Facilities: A residential treatment facility is a safe place to administer comprehensive treatment and supervision. If you’re experiencing severe mental health issues, sometimes a residential treatment facility is necessary to manage the symptoms. This option is for people who need 24/7 care and observation because they have proven unsafe to be alone or around others. 
    • Psychologist Locator, a service of the American Psychological Association (APA) Practice Organization
    • Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Finder, a research tool by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
    • Find a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, a search tool by the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
    • SAMHSA– Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
    • If you need help finding treatment facilities, visit
    • Psychology Today maintains a directory of licensed psychiatrists, therapists, and treatment facilities throughout the US, many of whom offer a sliding-scale payment option. This resource also allows you to see a photo of the provider and learn more about their specialties and cultural competencies.
    • Good Therapy is another resource to find the right mental health professional near you, allowing you to search for a therapist by location and the primary mental health issue they treat.
    • 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: 988 has been designated the new three-digit dialing code to route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Available for calls, webchats, or texts. Available 24/7. Call or text 988, or chat to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.
    • is a confidential and anonymous resource for persons seeking mental and substance use disorder treatment in the United States and its territories. Additionally, there are several directories provided in the Minority Health section that can help guide you to a therapist who specializes in various particular audiences.
    • The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year. Spanish speakers can call the hotline and press “2” for 24/7 bilingual support. Callers to the hotline can also connect with counselors in over 100 other languages via 3rd-party interpretation services. This national hotline provides immediate crisis counseling for people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster.
    • Veterans Crisis Line: If you or someone you know is a veteran, use the Veterans Crisis Line: Dial 988, then press 1 or Text 838255
    • School-Based Mental Health Services: Thompson offers counseling services for school-aged children in the school setting through a partnership with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. The CMS School-Based Mental Health (SBMH) Program collaborates with CMS, Mecklenburg County, and eight local mental health agencies. Currently, Thompson provides outpatient therapy services at the following schools:
      • Dorothy J Vaughan Academy
      • Elizabeth Traditional Elementary
      • JM Alexander Middle
      • Phillip O Berry Academy of Technology
      • Randolph Middle
      • Steele Creek Elementary
      • Sterling Elementary
      • Turning Point Academy (Middle and High)
      • Vance High
      • Westerly Hills Academy
      • Wilson STEM Academy
    • To initiate treatment, the student, guardian, or staff member should express concern about the student to a student services staff member. https://www.thompsoncff. org/about/
    • Amara Wellness: Amara was established as a community-based behavioral health agency in Mecklenburg County. They provide various services that support individuals with mental illness, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and addiction disorders. Amara provides a walk-in clinic for Medication Management and Counseling Services, outpatient services, Peer Bridger and Peer Support Programs, and Psych Rehab Services. (704) 567-0790
    • Atrium Behavioral Health: Behavioral Health Emergency Department provides inpatient and outpatient services. (800) 418-2065
    • Novant Behavioral Health: 24-hour access program designed to assess your needs and connect you with the appropriate care. (704) 384-4000
    • InnerVision: Assists in recovering individuals with trauma, mental health, addiction, and long-term unemployment challenges. Psychosocial rehab, Peer Support, Supported Employment, and Outpatient Counseling. (704) 377-5042
    • Monarch: Walk-in clinic, Outpatient Services, Medication Management, Crisis Services (youth), Psychosocial Rehab, Assertive Community Treatment Team, Community Support Teams, Intensive In-Home services for children and teens. (866) 272-7826 or Toll-free (800) 230-7525
    • KinderMourn: Provides support groups and individual counseling around grief on a sliding scale to children who have a deceased person in their lives or adults who have lost a child (704) 376-2580.
    • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): For general information on mental health and to locate treatment services in your area, call SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). SAMHSA also has a Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator on its website that can be searched by location.
    • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA): HRSA works to improve access to health care. The HRSA website has information on affordable healthcare, including health centers offering care on a sliding fee scale.
    • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): CMS has information on its website about benefits and eligibility for mental health programs and how to enroll.
    • The National Library of Medicine (NLM) MedlinePlus: NLM’s website has directories and lists of organizations that can help identify a health practitioner.
    • National Agencies and Advocacy and Professional Organizations: Advocacy and professional organizations can be a good source of information when looking for a mental health professional. They often have information on finding a mental health professional on their website, and some have practitioner locators. Examples include but are not limited to:
      • Anxiety and Depression Association of America
      • Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
      • Mental Health America
      • National Alliance on Mental Illness
    • Mental Health America of Central Carolina FREE Counseling Services
      • MHA offers counseling services for individuals ages eight and older, families, groups, and couples in Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties. Two mental health counseling programs are available: the free MHA Counseling Center and the Short-Term Counseling Program.
      • The free MHA Counseling Center offers no-cost counseling and aims to serve uninsured or underinsured individuals in Mecklenburg County. Graduate students provide services under the supervision of a licensed Clinical Director. In-person and telehealth options are available. Call 704-565-3315 to set up an appointment at the Counseling Center.
    • State and County Agencies: The website of your state or county government may have information about health services in your area. You may find this information by visiting their websites and searching for the health services department.
    • Insurance Companies: If you have health insurance, a representative of your insurance company will know which local providers are covered by your insurance plan. The websites of many health insurance companies have searchable databases that allow you to find a participating practitioner in your area.
    • University, College, or Medical Schools: Your local college, university, or medical school may offer treatment options. To find these, try searching on the website of local university health centers for their psychiatry, psychology, counseling, or social work departments.
    • Help for Service Members and Their Families: Current and former service members may face different mental health issues than the general public encounters. For resources for both service members and veterans, please visit:
    • Finding Help & Support Groups: Many people find peer support a helpful tool that can aid in their recovery. There are a variety of organizations that offer support groups for consumers, their family members, and friends. Some support groups are peer-led, while a mental health professional may lead others. NAMI and MHA provide comprehensive listings of organizations specializing in particular mental health conditions and listings of known support groups.
    • Community health centers deliver primary care services to underserved locations. Mental health care is provided via a sliding fee scale, depending on your ability to pay. Find a Health Center Near You: https://findahealth
    • All state Medicaid programs provide coverage of select behavioral health services. However, the types of behavioral health benefits that Medicaid covers differ among states based on statutory authority and eligibility. A list of mental health providers that accept Medicaid and NC Health Choice can be found HERE.
    • NC Medicaid provides health care to eligible low-income adults, children, pregnant women, seniors, and people with disabilities. To learn more, including how to apply for Medicaid and NC Health Choice, please visit the NC Medicaid Beneficiary Portal:

      https://ncgov.servicenow sp_beneficiary? id=bnf_index 

      You can also contact the NC Medicaid office via email at Medicaid. Transformation@ or via phone at (888) 245-0179.

    • A nationwide peer-support service, NAMI Helpline, offers resources for people with various mental health conditions, including support for their caregivers and families.
    • Mental Health America will help you find support groups near you that are specific to your situation, in addition to connecting you with online support communities. MHA provides family support services to parents of children with behavioral, emotional, or mental health needs; peer support for adults with chronic mental illnesses; and mental health education and preventative training to the broader community. MHA’s programs bring together mental health consumers, parents, advocates, and service providers to address systemic issues impacting mental health.
    • Financial assistance for mental health patients is easily accessible through mental health fundraising on GoFundMe. Starting a fundraiser is easy to set up—and with crowdfunding, there are no applications, eligibility requirements, or long waiting periods to receive funds. 
    • Open Path Psychotherapy Collective partners with private mental health clinicians in all 50 states to help individuals and families in need access affordable therapy services. 
    • NeedyMeds keeps an updated database of sliding-scale, low-cost clinics for those underinsured or without health insurance. Needy Meds also has a searchable list of disease-specific assistance programs (primarily for other medical conditions) with program descriptions and contact information (Use the link under "Additional Programs" on the left-hand side of the home page.) Some of these programs provide a broad range of financial assistance, including help with other necessary expenses such as utility bills. They also have a list of state-sponsored programs, which can be accessed from the link under "Government Programs" on the left-hand side of the home page.
    • Psychology Today maintains a directory of licensed psychiatrists, therapists, and treatment facilities throughout the US, many of whom offer a sliding-scale payment option.
    • Good Therapy is another resource to find the right mental health professional near you, allowing you to search for a therapist by location and the primary mental health issue they treat.
    • JED Campus partners with colleges to help strengthen their current mental health services offered to students. In addition, the JED Foundation provides a Mental Health Resource Center to support students’ emotional well-being and to help them find professional care. 
    • ULifeline offers campus-specific information and resources for people struggling with mental health challenges. It also provides a mental health hotline. 
    • An eight-session interactive therapy program offered by the Centre for Interactive Mental Health Solutions can help treat depression. The program is based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and is completely free, confidential, and accessible from anywhere.
    • Talkspace offers private chat therapy sessions via phone, laptop, or tablet. Plans start at $69/ per week, which includes unlimited messages with your therapist.
    • Powered by thousands of trained volunteer listeners, 7 Cups offers an emotional support system through a 24/7 chat program. It also provides affordable online counseling at $150 per month.
    • BetterHelp provides counseling services with unlimited access to your counselor, with plans ranging from $60 to $90 per week. Counseling is offered through messaging, live chat, phone, and video conference.
    • A customized CBT program through iPrevail includes behavioral tools, interactive tools, and progress charts and can help treat anxiety. In addition, this service is one of the more cost-effective ones, costing only $10 per month.
    • We Are More is geared toward patients with chronic health conditions. The smartphone app platform offers inspirational content and helps equip individuals with the skills to cope with life’s ups and downs. 
    • MindDoc is designed for those struggling with anxiety and depression. The smartphone app helps you track your mood and offers personalized insights into how different life situations can trigger certain emotions. 
    • Calm is a smartphone app offering over 100 meditation sessions to help you regain control of your thoughts, reduce anxiety, and lower stress levels.
    • Happify combines positive psychology and mindfulness in an interactive smartphone app platform to help you take control of your emotional health and form new patterns and habits that contribute to your well-being. 
    • The Partnership for Prescription Assistance can help qualifying patients without prescription drug coverage get the medicines they need through the right program. As a result, many will get their medications free or nearly free. For more information, visit http://www.pparx. org/ or call (888) 477-2669.
    • The Medicine Assistance Tool can help qualifying patients without prescription drug coverage get the medicines they need through the program that is right for them. As a result, many will get their medications free or nearly free.
    • Medication Assistance Program: Participating in Free and Charitable Clinics, Community Health Centers, and Rural Health Centers provide access to free and low-cost medication through pharmaceutical company programs for low-income, uninsured patients who cannot afford them. If you need prescription assistance, please get in touch with a clinic near you to see if you qualify for free prescription medication: Click here to get a MAP site closest to you to know if you are eligible.
    • In addition, NC MedAssist, a statewide free pharmacy program, provides prescription medications to uninsured, low-income patients. Patients must live in North Carolina, have no access to insurance, and meet specific income requirements. If you cannot afford prescription medications, please get in touch with NC MedAssist to see if you qualify for assistance by using the following link or calling (866) 331-1348. 
    • North Carolina Drug Card is a free prescription assistance program for all North Carolina residents. The North Carolina Drug Card is a simple solution to the high cost of prescription medications. Residents can print a free pre-activated card, locate participating pharmacies, and search drug pricing by visiting www.NorthCarolina
    • Another way to cut costs is to compare the prices of your prescription drugs at different retail pharmacies (CVS vs. Walgreens vs. Walmart, etc.). Many retail pharmacies list their prices for commonly prescribed drugs online. You can also call local pharmacies to request prices for your medications.
    • Consider using a prescription savings card such as FamilyWize to cut costs. The FamilyWize Prescription Discount Card helps everyone, both insured and uninsured, access more affordable medications. It is FREE for all; has no eligibility requirements; gives you discounts on your meds, whether you have insurance or not; and saves you an average of 54% on mental health medications. Download a free card and learn more about FamilyWize here.
    • RX Hope has program descriptions and downloadable applications for prescription assistance programs for specific medications, including psychotropic medications.
    • RX Assist offers a patient assistance program directory with information about various programs, including drug discount cards, prescription assistance programs for generic medications, programs that help with medication co-pays, and programs that provide free and low-cost health care.
    • MHA has a partnership with Walgreens, and together they want to help. Visit their Pharmacy Chat and speak to someone today to get answers to your medication questions. 
    • North Carolina Health Choice (NCHC) for Children is a free or reduced-price comprehensive health care program. If your family makes too much money to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford rising health insurance premiums, your child(ren) may be eligible for NCHC. Toll-free number: 1 (800) 367-2229.