Free Mental Health Assistance Options

Updated on February 01, 2017
N.D. asks from Vancouver, WA
9 answers

I am trying to get help for my daughter's friend who suffers from depression and has attempted suicide many times. The story that I get from my daughter is that his dad does have insurance (works at Walmart) but that his dad says that it's "all in his head" (uh, duh?) and won't spend money or time to get her evaluated. I suspect that perhaps they don't have enough money to be able to afford an evaluation or therapist.

My daughter says that the school counselor is unable to get him the help that he needs because he is not on state insurance so I thought I would see if anyone has experience getting free mental health assistance. We are in Washington state.

In addition to the depression, he is a trans male and is unaccepted by his family, who still use female pronouns and his old name.

Thank you
I too found it strange that the school counselor couldn't help but I can only go by what my daughter's telling me from what her friend told her. I'm sure it's a little different coming from a teenager who feels wronged.

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So What Happened?

Thank you to everyone that responded. I talked to the counselor yesterday and it is indeed a case that they don't have extra money for therapy. She is working with the dad to get help for his son, so my daughter can stop worrying on that front at least.

Featured Answers



answers from Oklahoma City on

I would suggest you find some sort of organization that has help for kids going through these sorts of issues. Then get this kid in contact with them. He needs inpatient treatment to get his body chemistry in good shape.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on

I call BS on school counselor not being able to help. You need to call the school directly and tell them what you know and have them act. If they give you a line about not being on state assistance? Call the suicide hotline and get resources from them.

Basically his dad is in denial about his son wanting to be a female. So if he's successful at suicide? He won't have to deal with it. That's a mess.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I am surprised the school said they could not help. When my daughter was cutting herself, the counselor at school provided a list of options for counseling. I know what it is like when an adult brushes off an issue with a child. I heard a lot of "she needs to get over it". very frustrating. a few of the sources the counselor was able to provide actually help teens with depression regardless of insurance. Especially a teen that wants to take his or her life. You could reach out to the Dept of Health and Human Services for your state. They should be able to provide options for her.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

In Minnesota, each county has a Public Health Unit - they often have free or reduced-fee services or partners that people can access. Perhaps Washington does also, you may not have to go through the route of insurance. Good luck.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Why don't you call the school counselor yourself and report your concerns about this child?

Even if you find affordable mental health care for him you have no way to enforce him or dad to go.

The school counselor has a duty to investigate your concerns when you call and will have the ability to follow up with the child/family.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

My granddaughter is transgender and gets counseling through the T clinic. Our area also has lgbt organaztion that helps people find help. It's call the Q clinic. I suggest you contact those organizations to ask them how you can get help for her.

I am also surprised school couldn't help maybe she is too depressed to ask for help or accept it. Or she didn't ask the right person. Our school district, PPS, has a psychologist that goes to schools. My granddaughter was having difficulties and her school counselor got him involved.

She doesn't have have her parents involved

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i'm taken aback that the school counselor would not help. why would they be involved in insurance? a counselor should have access to all manner of kid-in-crisis resources.
why take your daughter's word for it? go speak to the school counselor yourself.
or talk to the people at the suicide hotline center. it could escalate to that point fairly easily, maybe you could head it off at the pass.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

If a young person has attempted self-harm multiple times, I can't imagine that the school counselor hasn't started the process to get real counseling or even hospital admission for him--if the counselor knows about it. The others' suggestions to contact the school counselor and maybe even a higher up administrator sound like good starting places, especially for information about low-cost counseling. Maybe your daughter's friend hasn't fully disclosed the extent to which he has self-harmed to the counselor? Calling the suicide hotline sounds like a good place to get resources too. If you can get some kind of a pamphlet with that information, perhaps it would be helpful for you to talk to the parents and state clearly what you have learned from your daughter, hand them the pamphlet, and say you will be happy to find more information for them if they need. Ultimately, the parents will have to be the ones to take action, since they are the parents. You can provide kind support (even if you think the father is behaving like a butt-head) to them and to the young person, as well as information, however that's ultimately it. It is good you care!

1 mom found this helpful
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