Low cost professional support

In many countries, treatment for mental health problems is difficult to access. Depending on where you live and your health insurance status, you can be referred free of charge by a medical professional or you may have to pay for it yourself.

In any case, it is important to feel comfortable with the therapist we are working with. This is a person that should have knowledge about domestic abuse or intimate partner abuse and show compassion for our situation - never blame us for the abuse. They should also react with kindness when we voice doubt or criticism regarding the treatment.

As access varies a lot depending on which country you live in we have collected some routes / access points for a few countries.

A good way to start looking for mental health support is to contact domestic abuse charities or mental health charities/NGOs in your region. Other organisations, such as your employer, university or school might offer the option of talking to a counselor, even if it is just for a short period of time.

Accessing mental health services via the NHS is free but you will often need referral from a GP. It can take a long time to get a referral but don’t give up!

You can refer yourself to some services including psychological therapies/IAPT and services for drug and alcohol problems. (here: https://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Psychological-therapy-(NHS-IAPT)/LocationSearch/10008)

Referrals take time and it’s not easy so while you wait for your referral take care of yourself and try to use some self-help tools.

India moved on to a new mental health care law during April 2017, that aims to provide for mental healthcare and services if you need them. The new law seeks to empower an individual and ensures that you have a good quality, affordable healthcare in a place near you. One of the highlights of this Act is the mandate to provide services free of cost if one cannot afford them. If any doctor or staff at the healthcare facility discriminates against you or any individual on the basis of gender, sex, sexual orientation, religion, culture, caste, social or political beliefs, class, disability etc., you can even go to court in order to ensure that your rights are protected.

For you to get support immediately, telephone and email based counselling called iCall is run by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. They offer psychological support, information and referral to any one in need. Not everyone is comfortable seeking counselling through technology and hence, many user-survivors, through their positive voices from all over India, have helped create this list. This should help you choose what professional you want to see.

If you feel that you require help with depression or schizophrenia or you need to know about anxiety or maternal mental health, White Swan Foundation provides support to the seekers. The foundation also runs extensive programs for someone who is at the risk of suicide.

You can also visit the website of the Live Love Laugh Foundation. They help in the fight against depression and help you locate therapists within your state.  You can find the state list here.

If you would like to read some inspiring testimonials on people suffering from depression and other mental health issues, you can check out the blogs and recovery stories on A Storied Mind, a platform that aims to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem with support and right advice. They raise awareness on mental health issues and bridge the gap between the services and treatments available and the people who need them.

You can also visit ARTH’s Facebook page. They offer Counselling and Arts Based Therapy for people dealing with a range of mental health issues.

The Bhor Foundation’s main focus is to shift the focus to a more trauma-informed approach. They bring together the words of the affected, the caregivers and the bystanders. By all means, poetry could be your therapy here.

If you’re in Pune, Bapu Trust runs three flagship programs called the Sehar (creating emotionally sustainable care giving communities), an arts based therapy course (ABT Course) and Transforming Communities for Inclusion – Asia which is a platform for people with disabilities to come together and influence national policies.

In Chennai, the Banyan enables access to health and mental healthcare for persons living in poverty.

You can also browse through this list of mental health practitioners for young people who are LGBTQ+ friendly and offer counselling or therapy sessions for a nominal fee or free of charge.

Counseling and medication can be made available by specialised clinics within large hospitals but is also offered by non-profit organisations. Most opportunities to see a mental health specialist are in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore.

You can check on the websites of the Pakistan Association for Mental Health and the Karachi-specific Karwan-e-Hayat for services close to you that they offer for free to people who cannot afford them.

Therapyworks offers counseling and psychotherapy in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. You can request a specific service and they are familiar with working with people who have experienced domestic and intimate partner abuse.

Roohbaru is an online community that provides support and guidance of qualified mental health professionals. They offer online consultations and provide an on-demand mental health and well-being platform.

Suicide prevention service - Centro de Valorização da Vida (CVV): this service is available for the whole country and works 24 hours; if you need help, call 188

Universidade Federal do Acre (UFAC)
Address: Campus Universitário – BR 364, Km 4, Distrito Industrial - Rio Branco
Monday to friday, from 8am to 6pm
E-mail: serpsi.ufac@gmail.com
University psychological service - FREE
Centro de Serviço de Psicologia Aplicada da Universidade Federal do Amazonas
Address: Av. General Rodrigo Octávio, 6200, Bloco X, Coroado I - Manaus
Phone: +55 (92) 3305-4121/ (92) 99314-4121
E-mail: cspapsicologiaufam@gmail.com
University psychological service - FREE
Universidade Federal da Bahia - Clínica de Psicologia da FTC
Address: Praça da Inglaterra, nº 6, Edf. Big, 4º andar, bairro do Comércio - Salvador
Phone: +55 (71) 3254-6946
University psychological service - FREE
Clínica Escola de Psicologia do Centro Universitário Estácio do Ceará
Address: Rua Felipe Nery, 1006 - Fortaleza
Phone: +55 (85) 3271-1992
Wednesdays from 8am to 11am and Fridays from 3pm to 5pm
University psychological service - FREE
Distrito Federal
Serviço de Psicologia João Cláudio Todorov (IESB) - Campus Sul
Address: Campus Edson Machado (Av. L2 Sul, quadra 613), Bloco M, 2o andar
Phone: +55 (61) 3445-4502
University psychological service - FREE
Espiríto Santo
Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo (UFES)
Address: Av. Fernando Ferrari, 514 - Goiabeiras, Vitória
Phone: +55 (27) 4009-2509
Monday to friday, from 1pm to 7pm
University psychological service - FREE
Universidade Federal do Maranhão
Address: Avenida dos Portugueses, nº 1.966, Cidade Universitária Dom Delgado, Campus Bacanga
Phone: +55 (98) 3272-8608 / +55 (98) 3272-8615 / +55 (98) 3272-8616
Tuesday/friday: 8am to 11am, wednesday: 8am to 5pm
University psychological service - FREE
Mato Grosso do Sul
Unigran Capital
Address: Rua Abrão Júlio Rahe, 325, centro Campo Grande - MS
Phone: +55 (67) 3389-3362 / +55 (67) 99206-5326
Monday to wednesday, from 7:30am to 7pm / thursday to friday, from 7:30am to 10pm
University psychological service - FREE
Minas Gerais
Address:Rua Líbero Leone 259 - Bloco C2
Phone: +55 (31) 3319-9345 / +55 (31) 3319-9509
University psychological service - FREE

PUC Minas
Address:unidades de Coração Eucarístico, São Gabriel e Betim
Phone: +55 (31) 3319-4322
Monday to thursday, from 8am to 8pm / friday from 8am to 7pm / saturday from 8am to 12pm
Universidade Federal do Pará
Address: R. Augusto Corrêa, 1 - Guamá, Belém - PA
Monday to friday, from 8am to 6pm
Phone: +55 (91) 3201-7669
University psychological service - FREE
Clínica Escola Universidade Federal da Paraíba
Address: Cidade Universitária, s/n - Castelo Branco III, João Pessoa
Phone: +55 (83) 3216-7338
University psychological service - FREE

Universidade Federal de Campina Grande
Address: R. Aprígio Veloso, 882 - Universitário, Campina Grande
Phone: +55 (83) 2101-1855
University psychological service - FREE

Universidade Federal do Paraná (UFPR)
Address: Praça Santos Andrade, 50 (Prédio Histórico)
Phone: (41) 3310-2614
E-mail: centrodepsicologia@ufpr.br
University psychological service - FREE
Centro de Estudo e Prática de Psicologia (CEPPSI) - Universidade Federal do Vale do São Francisco (Univasf)
Address: Av. José de Sá Maniçoba - Maria Auxiliadora, Petrolina
Monday to friday, from 8am to 8pm
E-mail: ceppsi@univasf.edu.br
Phone: +55 (87) 2101-6871
University psychological service - FREE
Clínica escola de psicologia do CMRV
Address: Av. São Sebastião, nº 2819 - B. Nossa Senhora de Fátima, Parnaíba-PI
Phone: +55 (86) 3237-2104
University psychological service - FREE
Rio de Janeiro *
Serviço de Psicologia Aplicada – UERJ
Address: Rua São Francisco Xavier, 524 – 10° andar – Maracanã
Phone: +55 (21) 2334-0033 / +55 (21)2334-0688
University psychological service - depending on your income, can go from free up to R$20 per month

Instituto de Psiquiatria da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)
Address: Avenida Pasteur, 250 - Pavilhão Nilton Campos
Phone: +55 (21) 2295-8113
Monday to friday, from 8am to 8pm
University psychological service - FREE

Sociedade Brasileira de Psicanálise do Rio de Janeiro
Address:Rua David Campista, 80 – Humaitá
Phone: +55 (21) 2537-1333 / +55 (21) 2537-1115
Psychological service - FREE, but there’s a R$40 inscription fee
Rio Grande do Norte
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte
Address: Campus Universitário Lagoa Nova - Lagoa Nova, Natal
Phone: (84) 3215-3603
University psychological service - FREE
Rio Grande do Sul
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)
Address: Rua Protásio Alves, 297 - 4º andar
University psychological service - FREE
Universidade Federal de Rondônia - Serviço de psicologia aplicada
Address: Avenida Presidente Dutra, 2965 - Porto Velho
Phone: +55 (69) 2182-2025
University psychological service - FREE
Universidade Federal de Roraima - Serviço de Atendimento Psicológico
Address: Av. Cap. Ene Garcês, 2413 - Boa Vista
Phone: +55 (95) 3623-2391
University psychological service - FREE
Santa Catarina
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC)
Address: Centro de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas, bloco D, 2º andar
Phone: +55 (48) 3721-9402 / +55 (48) 3721-4989
Monday to friday, from 8am to 4pm
University psychological service - FREE
São Paulo *
Clínica-escola Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie
Address: Rua Piauí, 181 - 1º andar
Phone: +55 (11) 3256-6827 / +55 (11) 3256-6217
Monday to friday, from 8am to 8pm
University psychological service - FREE

Instituto de Psicologia da USP
Address: Avenida Professor Mello de Morais, 1721 - Bloco D - Butantã
Phone: +55 (11) 3091-5015
Monday to friday, from 7am to 7pm / Saturdays, from 8am to 1pm
University psychological service - FREE

Clínica-escola Pontifícia Universidade Católica - PUC SP
Address: Rua Almirante Pereira Guimarães, 150 – Pacaembu
Phone: +55 (11) 3862-6070
Monday to friday, from 8am to 8pm
University psychological service - FREE

Clínica social Casa 1
Address: Rua Condessa de São Joaquim, 277 – Bela Vista
E-mail: centrocasaum@gmail.com
Psychological service especially for LGBT community - FREE

* If you need more addresses for São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, you can find it here.

Disclaimer: All university services listed above are conducted by psychology students who have not yet graduated. However, they have frequent supervision with teachers who accompany and advise them, so it does not mean that it is a low-quality service.

Need to talk to someone?

Emergency, Police and Ambulance
If you need immediate assistance, or are worried for your own safety or the safety of those around you, don’t hesitate to reach out to emergency services on 000.

Suicide Callback Service
The Suicide Callback Service is a free nationwide service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.You can call and access immediate, confidential counselling from a qualified professional, or go online to chat.

How can I reach out?

Call 1300 659 467 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for free)
Go Online (https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au)
Chat Online

Lifeline is a 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention service. You can contact a qualified counsellor for confidential support via phone or online chat. Log onto their website to find relevant resources, self help tools and real life stories.

How can I reach out?

Call 13 11 14 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Go Online https://www.lifeline.org.au/
Chat Online (7pm-midnight EST, 7 days a week)

Mensline Australia
Mensline Australia offer crisis support and services to men with family and relationship concerns. You can call their crisis line anytime, anywhere in Australia, chat online with a qualified counsellor or browse their resource lists.

How can I reach out?

Call 1300 789 978 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Go Online (https://mensline.org.au/)
Chat Online
Video Chat

Beyond Blue
Beyond Blue is an online support resource for those struggling with their mental health. You can call, chat online or email a trained mental health practitioner (for free!), or take part in online discussion boards with community members. They also have up to date resources for yourself and your family.

How can I reach out?

Call 1300 22 4436 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Go Online (https://www.beyondblue.org.au/)
Chat Online (3pm-midnight EST, 7 days a week)
Send an Email (guaranteed 24 hour response)

Your Local General Practitioner (GP)
Your local GP can give you access to affordable mental health support services in your community on a Mental Health Plan (up to 10 sessions a year). Reach out to them, and let them know when you are not ok or you need some support.

Online or phone counseling

When accessing these services, make sure that the people you get in touch with are licensed therapists and ideally, ask them whether they have experience in treating people who have experienced domestic or intimate partner abuse. You may wish to have someone help you when you make any enquiries.

You can also access online counseling. These resources are not free but are usually cheaper than in-person counseling - if such counseling is not  covered by your government, health insurance or by a charity.

For English speakers

7 Cups → an affordable, professional online therapy platform.Therapists check messages and reply 1-2 times per day, Monday through Friday, on days that you have messaged them. Members pay $150/month (the equivalent of $5 a day, compared to $150+ per session in traditional therapy) for unlimited messaging to their therapist.

For German speakers

Selfapy → Selfapy offers an online course based on cognitive behavioural therapy as well as different amounts of person-to-person psychotherapy on top.  It is a certified as a medical product.Starts at 29.9€ per month, + counselling 84.90€ and individual psychological help 119.90€
Frauen Beraten Frauen → This is an initiative by women psychologists and psychiatrists who offer online messaging support. You can write them messages and they write you back with professional advice and questions concerning all kinds of problems with mental health and associated with mental health, including abuse.FREE

If you live in India

Type A Thought → Online counselling via video chat, calls and text.
Rs 999 ($14) - Rs 3499 ($54) depending on the plan

Sneha A 24*7 helpline that offers unconditional emotional support for the depressed, desperate and the suicidal. Sneha offers total confidentiality for its callers, their volunteers are non-judgemental.
Helpline 1: 044-24640050 | 24 Hours | Monday to Sunday
Helpline 2: 044-24640060 | 08:00 AM - 10:00 PM | Monday to Sunday

iCALL is a service from TISS, run by trained mental health professionals. iCALL provides emotional support, information and referral services to individuals in psycho-social distress, across the lifespan and across different gender and sexual identities.
Helpline: 022-25521111 | 08:00 AM to 10:00 PM | Monday to Saturday
Email: icall@tiss.edu  

‍‍Sahai is a service provided by Medico Pastoral Association (MPA). MPA is a 51 years old psycho-social rehabilitation home for people with mental health issues.
Helpline: 080 – 25497777 | 10:00 AM to 08:00 PM | Monday to Saturday
Email: sahaihelpline@gmail.com

Vandrevala Foundation For Mental Health They have trained counsellors professionally helping you out in times of distress or suicidal thoughts.
Available 24/7.
Helpline: 18602662345 Email:  help@vandrevalafoundation.com

Connecting… is a suicide prevention NGO for the youth. It aides young people through it’s programmes, seminars and of course the helpline itself. They are operational from 12pm – 8pm daily and they also have support for people who have lost close ones to suicide.
Helpline: 1800-843-4353
Email: connectingngo@gmail.com

Lifeline offers a tele-helpline providing emotional support to people who are in despair, depressed or suicidal. Face to face befriending with prior appointment is also available. The services offered are unconditional, non-judgemental and confidential. This organization is based in Kolkata and has outreach programs in many cities across the country.
Helpline 1: 033-24637401 | 10:00 AM - 06:00 PM | Monday to Sunday
Helpline 2: 033-24637432 | 10:00 AM - 06:00 PM | Monday to Sunday
Email: lifelinekolkata@gmail.com

Sumaitri Sumaitri is a crisis intervention centre for the depressed, distressed and suicidal. It provides unconditional and unbiased emotional support to anyone who calls, visits or writes to them. The volunteers are trained professionals.
Helpline: 011-23389090 | 02:00 PM to 10:00 PM | Monday to Friday | 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM on Saturday & Sunday
Email: feelingsuicidal@sumaitri.net

COOJ Mental Health Foundation (COOJ) COOJ Mental Health Foundation (COOJ) works towards promoting mental health in Goa under four major needs: Psycho-social rehabilitation, Suicide Prevention, Elder Care and Community Mental health. They operate a confidential helpline which offers emotional support individuals dealing with suicidal thoughts, as well as those experiencing other levels of distress. It is run by volunteers trained in Mindfulness Based Active Listening.
Helpline: 0832-2252525 | 03:00 PM - 07:00 PM | Monday to Friday
Email: YouMatterByCooj@gmail.com

Roshni Trust Roshni’s helpline provides free and confidential service by providing emotional support to the depressed and the suicidal. They are located in Sindhi Colony, Secunderabad.
Helpline: 040-66202000, 040-66202001 | 03:00 PM - 07:00 PM | Monday to Sunday
Email: roshnihelp@gmail.com

Samaritans Mumbai Samaritans Mumbai provides emotional support for people with complete anonymity and strict confidentiality.
Helpline: +91 84229 84528, +91 84229 84529, +91 84229 84530 | 03:00 PM - 09:00 PM | Monday to Sunday
Email: talk2samaritans@gmail.com

If you live in Pakistan

Rozan is a charity focusing on mental health of women who have experienced domestic abuse. They offer on-the-phone counselling.
FREE except for usual phone charges

Disclaimer: This guide has not been put together by mental health professionals. It is not intended to be medical advice. It has been crowdsourced by survivors and volunteers of Chayn. Care has been taken in reflecting the experiences and knowledge of people around the world, including therapists but information in this guide should be taken instead of certified medical advice. Please seek professional support.

Getting better & moving on: A guide for mental healing after abuse and trauma by CHAYN is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.