Every year millions of people in the United States seek mental health counseling or other support. In fact, a recent poll quoted by the American Psychological Association found that nearly 50% of households polled had someone in their family who used mental health services in the past year. As mental health treatment has become less stigmatized more people are receiving the help they need.
Unfortunately many populations are still undeserved by the resources we do have available. Psychotherapy is costly in many places making it hard for people to get the help they need. In Petaluma, CA the average cost of a therapy session is $125 per hour. For many people this makes counseling inaccessible. While some private therapists, myself included, reserve time for pro bono work the number of free or low-cost spaces available are limited.
Luckily there are a number of great community mental health services in Petaluma and the greater Sonoma County. We are fortunate to live somewhere with so many options available to people who need them.
Petaluma Low Cost and Free Resources
If you are in Petaluma you might be looking for low cost mental health resources. Even in our small town there are a number of resources available for people seeking help. All of the places listed below offer counseling or psychotherapy services at affordable rates.
This community counseling clinic offers low-cost sliding scale counseling. The clinic offers support around the following topics: relationship difficulties, parent education, anger, behavioral problems, school problems, adolescent issues, anxiety, depression, divorce, and domestic violence. They offer counseling to children, teens, families, and adults.
Hope counseling center provides help for people who are coping with chronic pain, stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, and process addictions. They are a non-profit organization and fees are set based on client’s ability to pay. This clinic does have a Christian slant that is incorporated into how they work with clients.
In addition to counseling resources you might be looking for recovery groups or support groups. Generally, recovery meetings are donation based and there is absolutely no fee to attend. The groups are usually drop-in so you can go as frequently or infrequently as you like. Most recovery meetings are peer led. This means there is no therapist or facilitator but instead people from the community take turns running the meetings.
Sonoma County Low Cost and Free Mental Health Services
In addition to the services I listed that are specific to Petaluma, there are also resources available in the greater Sonoma County. We are lucky to live somewhere committed to mental health care because it means there are a number of quality therapy clinics that are affordable. I know people who work or have worked at every place on this list and I can speak to the quality of the therapists.
NAMI Sonoma County is our local chapter of the National Alliance of Mental Illness. They provide free and low cost groups, counseling, and psychoeducation for people who have been affected in some way by mental health challenges. They work both with people who are struggling with various disorders and their family members.
SOS is a non-profit mental health agency. They provide free and low cost individual therapy for individuals, families, couples, and youth. They have a number of locations across Sonoma County. If you are interested in the services they provide, you can call them for more information about location and cost.
Lomi is a low-cost counseling clinic located in Santa Rosa. Lomi has over 20 trained professionals who can provide individual, couples, and family therapy to those who need it. They have a strong somatic focus and help treat the people they work with by focusing on the body. They have been open for over 25 years and are highly regarded for the quality of care they provide.
Chrysalis is a psychotherapy clinic that offers counseling to individuals, children, families, and couples are affordable rates. They have been open for over 30 years and are committed to providing quality low-cost therapy to those who need it. They are rooted in the feminist theory of counseling and provide care that is compassionate and collaborative.
If you find yourself in a crisis situation you might need more immediate help than therapy. It is important to reach out for help both for yourself or someone who love if there is an acute emergency. While you can always call the local police department, there are also some targeted crisis intervention services available in Sonoma County. I have had colleges who work at these places and they are dedicated to being a stable and compassionate presence during the most difficult times.
This resources is a crisis intervention hotline that should be used in the case of psychiatric emergencies. If you or someone you know is having a psychiatric emergency you can call this hotline and they will talk you through the next steps.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or behavior you can reach out the the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. They have staff available 24/7 to talk you through a crisis and direct you to local resources.
If you are a veteran you can reach out to this crisis hotline. You can call or text and will receive and immediate response from their 24/7 staff. They will direct you to local services specifically geared toward veterans.
Verity, which was formerly known as United Against Sexual Assault, helps people who have been the victim of sexual assault. The number listed above is their 24/7 crisis hotline. This local organization will dispatch someone to a hospital or police precinct in order to provide the necessary support to survivors.
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