World Mental Health Month is here, and with our country’s rise in COVID-19 cases, most of us are now forced into isolation once again.
It can be a lonely, stressful, and overwhelming time for a lot of us, and mental health providers in Malaysia are actively advocating their services for those in need.
On October 18, an Instagram post by online blog, Cukup Club highlighted a list of affordable mental health services available for Malaysians to find support from during this CMCO.
The list was compiled after they received recommendations from their readers.
In 2018, Nicole of I’m Funemployed shared that mental health services from private therapists or counsellors could cost between RM200-RM500, based on experiences from her own mental health journey.
Being that the ones we name below (based on the list) charge a maximum of RM100 or under per session, they fall into the affordable category.
The rates shared are accurate at the time of writing, and exclude any possible prescribed medication.
1. Unit Pakar Kesejahteraan Psikologi dan Kaunselling (PKPK), UKM
First made available during the MCO, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) aims to help those who are feeling anxious, worried and stressed from the effects of COVID-19.
Trained frontline staff and certified consultants will be assigned daily to provide mental and psycho-social health support services to alleviate the anxiety, worry and stress faced by the community.
However, despite Cukup Club’s post listing their services as free of charge, PKPK’s Facebook lists their psychological and counselling services at RM100.
After reaching out to PKPK on Facebook, they clarified that the free counselling services are offered, and are conducted by their trainee counsellors.
Cost: Free of charge with trainees.
Contact: Whatsapp 011-23803861 or 019-9102894.
Editor’s Note: Parts of the above paragraphs have been edited to upon receiving PKPK’s reply.
2. Centre of Psychological and Counselling Services
The Centre of Psychological and Counselling Services (CPCS) was established by HELP University’s Department of Psychology to meet the community’s need for mental healthcare.
The team of 7 are currently offering online therapy to HELP University staff, students, and members of the public.
Face-to-face therapy sessions are open at their Damansara campus, with limited slots available during the RMCO period.
This is to ensure adherence to health and safety measures that protect their staff and clients.
Sessions with their trainee therapists will cost RM45 (inclusive of registration fees) for the first session, and RM30 for subsequent sessions.
Cost: RM45 for the first session, RM30 for subsequent ones.
Contact: Make an appointment here.
3. SOLS Health
SOLS Health is a non-profit community-based mental health centre that connects children, adults, families, and communities to accessible and affordable mental health services.
Though Cukup Club’s post states that they charge RM50 per session, we could not find this information on their website or social media pages.
We reached out to their Facebook and were told that their rates differ by the type of services you are looking for.
They also offer subsidised prices depending on your income status as a student or worker.
Therefore, to get an accurate price gauge, it’d be best to personally reach out.
Cost: RM50++ per session, based on Cukup Club’s information.
Contact: Whatsapp 018-6640247, or book an appointment on their website.
4. Malaysian Mental Health Association
The Malaysian Mental Health Association (MMHA) is a non-profit voluntary organisation established to promote mental health awareness and public mental wellbeing.
Formed in 1967 by a group of mental health professionals and community leaders from University Hospital, MMHA was officially registered under the Societies Act 1966 on July 30, 1968.
Trainees are assigned to provide psychological support services for RM50 and are all under supervision by trained clinical psychologists and professional counsellors.
The fees for their certified counsellor, however, is RM 100 per session and RM 120 for the first session.
While the fee with a practising clinical psychologist is RM 150 per session and RM 180 for the first session.
If you’re unable to afford the fee, MMHA also provides subsidies to clients with financial difficulties.
Editor’s Note: Parts of the above paragraph have been edited to upon receiving MMHA’s reply.
Cost: RM50 per session with trainees.
Contact: 017-6133039, or make an appointment on their website.
5. Humankind Community Counselling
HumanKind‘s mission is providing affordable mental health services for the community.
They transparently state that the RM50 fee per session is directed for the use of space, utilities, supervision, and administration costs related to running this service.
As their policy is to not turn anyone away based on their inability to pay, if you’re unable to afford the fee, you can tell them what you are able to afford.
Their affordable counselling services are conducted by Master of Professional Counselling or Psychology interns who have completed their practicum.
All counselling conducted by the trainees is under the supervision of licensed and experienced mental health practitioners.
Cost: RM50 per session.
Contact: Schedule an appointment here.
6. MentCouch Psychology Centre
MentCouch Psychology Centre believes that mental health and psychological services are not only meant for people with problems, but for everyone.
Lend an Ear is their affordable and cost-effective service under their Wellbeing Services.
It is best suited for individuals who just want someone to actively listen to them without judgment and in a safe environment, for the price of RM50.
In conjunction with World Mental Health Day, MentCouch also offers a promotion for their counseling and psychology consultation sessions for RM100.
These promotional sessions will be carried out till November 10.
Cost: RM50 for Lend an Ear service and RM100 for counselling and psychology consultation.
Contact: Call 03-27129372 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. People Psychological Solutions
People Psychological Solutions provides evidence based psychological services for those between the ages of 16 to 54.
Due to the CMCO, counselling sessions will be conducted online for RM60 by trainee clinical psychologists. They will be closely supervised for quality and standard of care by their seniors.
These trainees are currently undertaking their final year of master’s-level practicum. Upon completion, they will then be fully qualified clinical psychologists.
However, if you prefer to have a session with a qualified member from their team, it will cost RM200 per session.
Cost: RM60 per session with trainees.
Contact: Whatsapp 017-8992207.
8. The Mind Faculty KL
The Mind Faculty (TMF) is a private mental health clinic in Solaris Mont Kiara.
Its team comprises over 20 practitioners that offer psychiatric, psychological, counselling, and complementary therapies.
Affordable therapy is conducted through the TMF Academy Associate Program, which aims to advance the level of mental health services available for clients.
Sessions will be conducted by an associate practitioner who is supervised by a senior practitioner from TMF.
A session with one of their associate practitioners starts at RM80.
Do note that they operate their sessions based on appointments only, which you can make on their website or through a phone call.
Cost: RM80 per session.
Contact: Call 03-6203 0359, Whatsapp 010-200 7229, or make an appointment here.
9. Cara Cara Mental Fitness
Named after a type of orange, Cara Cara uses this motif for therapy.
We strive to guide you in understanding the distinctive potential within yourself, similar to discovering the uniqueness of Cara Cara oranges. By learning about the defences and bitter experiences that protect you like an orange peel, you can confidently flourish.Cara Cara Mental Fitness.
In line with World Mental Health Day, they are offering first-time clients an Individual Therapy Single Session at RM60 throughout October 2020, using the promo code WMHD50.
Do note that even without the promotions, Cara Cara’s mental health services with their licensed registered counsellors start at RM80.
Due to the CMCO, sessions will only take place online via video conferencing.
Editor’s Note: Parts of the above paragraphs have been edited to reflect greater accuracy of the statement.
These sessions must be completed by November 30 of this year.
Cost: RM60 for a single session for first-time clients and RM80 without promotions.
Contact: Register for a session here.
10. Ashwini Balagopal (MBPsS)
Ashwini Balagopal is a graduate in MSc Child & Adolescent Mental Health from University College London and a Member of the British Psychological Society (BPS).
During the first round of MCO, cases of domestic violence and child abuse increased. Many students also felt unproductive and lethargic which in turn made them unkind towards themselves.
The psychologist conducts play therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy sessions (CBT) for anxiety and depressive disorders in children aged between 3 to 12.
On top of child psychology, she caters to college students and young adults up to 30 years old based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
For RM65, you can book a 1-hour therapy or mindfulness session till October 31, which will be completed by December 15. Sessions can be done in person or online.
Cost: RM65 per session.
11. PlusVibes App
PlusVibes is a platform that integrates local mental health associations, volunteer listeners and campaigners in a platform that promotes self-development and motivation.
On the app, you can anonymously chat and seek advice from professional and trusted organisations to express and share your problems freely.
The all-in-one platform for mental health and well-being provides its users with advice and motivation by chatting, reading, watching videos, or through meditation.
Cost: Free of charge.
Another cost effective way to get therapy is from government hospitals.
Speaking from personal experience, the fee to see a specialist at a government hospital usually only costs RM5 per visit.
To get an appointment, you’d simply have to walk into a government health clinic (Klinik Kesihatan Malaysia) to get a referral letter.
It is valid to feel doubtful and afraid when making the first step in reaching out for counselling.
Remember, you don’t have to be sick to attend therapy.
Everyone can benefit from engaging with a mental health professional to help you cope with these unprecedented times.
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Featured Image Credit: SOLS Health