Mental Health Resources
Before I started seeking support, I had no idea where to start. If you are struggling and would like to speak with a professional, here's a list of resources that I would recommend.
BetterHelp online therapy (worldwide)
This is an affordable app-based service based in the US which is available to anyone worldwide. I started using this service at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic and I couldn't recommend it more.
It's not exactly the same experience as physically being with a therapist but it's just as useful. You can arrange video and phone calls within the app, have sessions at different times/days in the week to suit your schedule (or you can stick with weekly), and you can message your therapist between sessions. It's easy to be discrete, even during lockdown. For example, you could take a walk or go to a park for phone call sessions.
They have teen-specific counselling and they're queer-friendly. You can choose a therapist who specialises in your needs. There are a range of therapists to choose from and you can do your research on them before choosing them. If you don’t feel it’s a good match, you can switch therapists at anytime; I would recommend allowing 2-3 sessions before doing that and ideally kindly let them know.
It's very affordable and, if you're on a low-income, they may be able to offer a discount. Their customer service team are very helpful, so definitely reach out to them if you have any questions.
NHS IAPT free counselling (England*)
This service is a good option if you're new to counselling, want to try it out and are happy to wait to have your sessions. It's also good if you only want short term counselling to discuss a specific issue.
Bear in mind, depending on the availability in your region, you might need to wait a few months until you can be seen. I was on the waiting list for around 3 months (this was before the pandemic). Unless it has since changed, you are only allocated 6 weekly sessions. If you miss a session it cannot be rescheduled, you will lose out on it.
*The NHS may offer a similar free program outside England. They also offer other mental health programs across the UK, speak with your GP. Your local council may also offer a free/low-cost counselling service separate from the NHS.
The Awareness Centre (South London)
They have a wide range of therapists to choose from at their locations in Clapham and Tooting with various weekly daytime and evening slots available. In addition to their regular priced sessions, they offer low-cost therapy on certain days/times to those on a low-income.