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Agony Aunt: I Need Affordable Mental Health Care Tips

by in Culture & Lifestyle on 5th May, 2024

We know that Amaliah is like a Big Sis and sometimes our DMs have been filled with requests for advice on a range of life issues including relationships, friendships or work troubles.

We have started a new segment where we field dilemmas from the community and answer them as frankly as we can with love, truth and honesty.

Need some advice on a dilemma? Send them all here!

​​Salam Alaikum, Hope you are well. What advice would you give someone who wants to work on their mental health but cannot afford therapy. I want to heal my past hurts and improve my communication and conflict management skills. Any advice or recommendations will be appreciated.

Maya Areem Responds:

Salam alaykum, 

Thank you so much for reaching out. Your commitment to bettering yourself and working on your mental health is truly admirable, and I pray you are well-supported and strengthened in your journey.

First and foremost, I recommend reaching out to your GP as a crucial step in prioritising your healing. They may be able to provide access to free group therapy or place you on a waiting list for further assistance. You can explore available NHS talking therapies through the following link: NHS Talking Therapies.

In addition to professional support, consider looking at free resources for healing and working through trauma. Explore local community initiatives for workshops and peer support groups or contact your local Masjid to create a small circle of your own. Connecting with others who share similar goals to improve their mental health and make sense of their past can bring much-needed support in your journey.

Have you looked into free or low-cost therapy options? Mind has a great resource for affordable mental health services near you. You can use this tool to find free mental health services in your area by entering your postal code. 

Here are some additional free resources you can explore:

  1. Free Group Therapy through AA (Alcoholics Anonymous): AA offers a variety of in-person and online group meetings worldwide. Despite its focus on alcohol-related issues, many find the supportive atmosphere helpful for various mental health concerns. 
  2. 12-Step Program: Many therapists recommend the 12-step program for healing. It involves connecting with a higher power/God. While working with this program, you can also connect with others and establish regular contact with a sponsor. This can provide a structured approach to addressing past hurts and improving communication and conflict management skills.
  3. Adult Children 12-Step Program: 12-Step also offers a program focusing on reparenting yourself. This also includes meetings and literature, including workbooks and various resources, tailored for group engagement.

Mindfulness apps, including some affordable therapy apps, can be instrumental in managing stressors and cultivating a sense of calm in your daily routine. Find a resource that resonates with you and your goals, and strive for consistency.

You can also try out these habit-tracking apps to help you visualise the positive changes you would like to bring into your life to improve your mental health. This may be daily reading time, exercising or eating better.

Incorporating books into your routine can also aid your journey. Consider titles like “How To Build A Healthy Brain” by Kimberley Wilson, “How to Calm It” by Grace Victory, and works by Brené Brown to help you own your story and understand yourself with compassion.  There is a great reading list here, featuring books that provide practical and holistic advice on looking after your mental and physical well-being. 

Additionally, explore conflict resolution-focused books to complement your growth.

From an Islamic perspective, I would suggest the work of Dr. Rania Awaad who is also the Executive Director of the holistic mental health nonprofit She speaks about the Prophet (ﷺ)’s approach to mental health and tips for maintaining mental health in Islam. You may also find it beneficial to read this post on what Islam says about mental health to put things in perspective with Hadith and lessons from the Sunnah. 

I would also recommend keeping these 13 Duas for Anxiety, Worry and Stress From the Quran and Sunnah on hand to incorporate into your routine. 

Once again, it is a commendable step you have taken to address your mental health, heal from your past and improve your communication and relationships. I pray Allah provides you with ease and success in this journey. 

Love + duas, 

Aunt Maya

If you would like some wisdom from Aunt Maya, send in your problems here! Please note Aunt Maya may consult the opinion of others from time to time and ask the Amaliah community for their advice too. Aunt Maya is not a licensed therapist or mental health professional.

Maya Areem

Maya Areem

Maya is a teacher by day and student by night. She hopes to pass on what she learns.