Affordable and Free TherapyCounseling Options in Canada

Seeking therapy or counselling is an essential step toward mental well-being, but it can be costly for many individuals. However, in Canada, there are several options available that offer affordable or even free therapy and counselling services. In this guide, we will explore a range of resources and organizations that can provide the support you need without breaking the bank.

  1. Community Health Centres: Community health centres are an excellent starting point for accessing affordable therapy. These centres, present in various communities across Canada, offer mental health services at reduced costs or on a sliding scale based on income. They have dedicated professionals who can provide counselling and connect you with therapists who suit your specific needs.
  2. Employee Assistance Programs (EAP): If you are currently employed, check if your workplace offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). EAPs often provide short-term counselling services free of charge to employees and their families. These programs are designed to address a wide range of personal and work-related issues, ensuring you have access to the support you require. For example:
  3. University of Calgary Counselling Services for faculty/staff
  4. University of Lethbridge Counselling Services for staff
  5. University of Alberta Counselling & Clinical Services for faculty/staff
  7. University Psychology/Counseling Centres: If you are a student, universities and colleges typically have psychology or counselling centres that provide free or low-cost counselling services to enrolled students. These centres are staffed by graduate students under the supervision of licensed professionals. This arrangement ensures that you receive quality care while supporting the training of future mental health practitioners.
  8. University of Lethbridge Counselling Services for students
  9. University of Alberta Counselling & Clinical Services for students
  10. University of Calgary Counselling Services for students and faculty/staff
  11. University of British Columbia Counselling Services for students
  12. University of Toronto Mental Health Clinical Services and Student Mental Health
  13. McGill University Student Wellness Hub: Counsellors
  14. University of Waterloo: Campus Wellness: Counselling Services
  15. University of Western Ontario: Mental Health Support
  16. Online and Phone Services: In the digital age, online and phone-based therapy services have become increasingly popular and accessible. Several platforms provide free or affordable counselling options in Canada. For instance:
  • Crisis Services Canada: This national helpline (1-833-456-4566) offers 24/7 crisis support and referrals, ensuring immediate assistance during difficult times.
  • Kids Help Phone: Specifically aimed at children and youth, Kids Help Phone provides 24/7 counselling and support via phone (1-800-668-6868) or text (686868). It’s a valuable resource for young individuals seeking help and guidance.
  • 7 Cups: This online platform connects individuals with licensed professionals who offer affordable counselling services. 7 Cups provides a convenient and accessible way to access therapy from the comfort of your own home.
  • Distress Centre of Alberta: 403-266-4357.
  1. Non-profit Organizations: Canada is home to numerous non-profit organizations and charities that focus on mental health support. These organizations, such as the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Mood Disorders Society of Canada, and local Distress Centres, offer a range of services, including counselling and helplines. Reach out to these organizations in your area to explore the resources and support they provide.
  2. Private organizations:
  3. Kindred Connections Society offers Rapid Access Counselling, free for families, children under 18, and caregivers of children under 18, or clients set a session fee that is comfortable and manageable for them.
  1. Government-funded Programs: Provincial and territorial governments in Canada often offer mental health programs that provide free or low-cost counselling services. Contact your local health authority or government mental health agency to inquire about available programs. They can guide you to specific resources tailored to your region.
  2. Extended Health Benefits: If you have extended health benefits through your employer or private insurance, explore whether they include coverage for mental health services. Many insurance plans provide coverage for therapy or counseling sessions, helping to alleviate the financial burden.

Prioritizing mental health shouldn’t be limited by financial constraints. In Canada, several affordable and free therapy options exist to ensure individuals have access to the support they need. From community health centres to online platforms, non-profit organizations to government-funded programs, the resources available are diverse and cater to different circumstances. Reach out to the specific organizations mentioned or explore resources in your local area to discover the most suitable option for you. Remember, seeking help is a courageous step, and there are resources available to support you on your mental health journey.


Kindred helps strengthen relationships with self, family and others through counselling and educational programs.

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