The 7 Best Online Help Resources for Depression in 2019

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First Look

Best Overall: Talkspace

“Talkspace has more than 3,000 licensed therapists, many of whom specialize in treating depression.” 

Best Budget: ADAA Online Support Group

With more than 20,000 subscribers from around the world, the support group offers a friendly, safe and supportive place for subscribers."

Best for Psychiatric Services: MDLive 

For $259, you can have an appointment with a psychiatrist, who has the ability to prescribe medication.”

Best Self-Paced Program: This Way Up

The course creators say it is appropriate for you if you’ve had more than one previous episode of depression."

Best for Therapist Interaction: Online-Therapy.com

“Online-therapy.com offers online courses, therapist feedback, and the option to have chat sessions with therapists.”

Best Video Program: Undoing Depression

“The course presents an understanding of depression and then teaches strategies for taking action."

Best for Christian Counseling: Faithful Counseling

”Faithful Counseling offers online therapy with licensed therapists who have a Christian background.”

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Talkspace

Talkspace

Courtesy of Talkspace

Talkspace matches you to a therapist (there are more than 3,000 licensed ones to choose from) for individual sessions, and their services are available via desktop or mobile device. The therapists specialize in a variety of mental health issues, including depression, so you can count on them being a helpful resource to help get you in a better headspace.

They offer three different levels of service/pricing plans:

  1. Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus: For $65 each week, you’ll get to exchange text, video, and audio messages with a licensed therapist who will respond on business days (one to two times per day).
  2. Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus Premium: For $79 each week, you can get all the benefits of the therapy plus plan, plus you get one live session per month.
  3. LiveTalk Therapy Unlimited: For $99 each week, you get everything in the therapy plus plan as well as four live sessions per month.

Additional live therapy sessions can be added to any plan if the therapist is agreeable. Thirty-minute sessions cost $49.

Best Budget: ADAA Online Support Group

ADAA Online Support Group

Courtesy of ADAA Online Support Group

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America offers a peer-to-peer support group. With more than 20,000 subscribers from around the world, the support group offers a friendly, safe, and supportive place for subscribers to share information and experiences.

There is a message board filled with a variety of topics that subscribers can respond to, and subscribers can also start a new thread to ask for support or to make an announcement.

And subscribers may be the individual affected by depression or anxiety or a loved one like a parent or sibling. It's also possible to participate and give words of encouragement anonymously.

It’s important to note that you won’t be accessing licensed mental health professionals. Instead, you’ll be able to talk to peers only. With that said, there are volunteer administrators who monitor the message boards.

In addition to the message boards, the site offers a variety of free educational resources such as webinars, blog posts, podcasts, and videos. Plus, there’s also a find-a-therapist database for anyone looking for a local therapist.

Best for Psychiatric Services: MDLive

MDLive

Courtesy of MDLive

While the services offered on MDLive aren’t restricted to depression treatment, the site may be a good option. Depression is often best treated with a combination of therapy and medication—and MDLive offers access to therapists and psychiatrists.

MDLive allows you to meet with a counselor via mobile app, video, or phone. For $99, you can have a single session with a therapist.

In addition to therapy, however, you can also access psychiatric services. For $259, you can have an appointment with a psychiatrist, who has the ability to prescribe medication.

If you are prescribed anti-depressant medication, you will most likely need to be monitored for a while by your psychiatrist. And each additional visit with the psychiatrist is $99. However, your health insurance may help cover the costs depending on if you meet deductibles.

Best Self-Paced Program: This Way Up

This Way Up

Courtesy of This Way Up

This Way Up is a self-paced online course that was created by the Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia. It’s funded by Australia’s Department of Health.

All of their programs—including their depression course—are based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy. It is designed to be completed within three months and new lessons can be unlocked every five days. The five-day lockout period is designed to encourage students to practice and review the material, one lesson at a time.

The course creators say it is appropriate for you if you’ve had more than one previous episode of depression, regardless of whether you are currently depressed.

The course consists of online questionnaires, homework activities, recovery stories, comic-based stories that teach practical skills, and an online calendar.

The six lessons in the course include:

  • The diagnosis
  • Monitoring your thoughts and activities
  • Learning how to improve your activities and thoughts
  • Facing Fears
  • Being assertive
  • Preventing relapse

Two independent studies completed on the course have found that the material is effective. Researchers reported that 80 percent of students benefited substantially and 50 percent of students were no longer troubled by depression after completing the course.

In Australia, the course is available to anyone who wants to take it. Students can sign up and get immediate access and they can take the course anonymously.

In all other countries, clinician supervision is necessary. That means a physician or mental health professional will need to write you a prescription to take the course. The website offers a letter that you can print and show to your medical provider in the event your provider isn’t already familiar with the program. Once you have a prescription, you can enter the information online and register to take the course.

The course costs $59.

Best for Therapist Interaction: Online-Therapy.com

online-therapy.com

Courtesy of Online-Therapy Facebook

Online-therapy.com offers an online course that can help reduce depression. You’ll get individual feedback from a therapist and you’ll also have the option to have chat sessions with a therapist. In addition to offering a course specifically for depression, the site also offers courses to address issues such as anger, anxiety, addiction, insomnia, social anxiety, weight problems, stress, and more, which sometimes can be related to depression.

The website offers depression course material via text, audio, or video, its eight sections are rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy, which is an evidenced-based treatment for depression. Each section teaches you the skills you need to challenge your negative thinking patterns and replace them with healthier ways of thinking.

It’s facilitated by a psychologist, Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD., and has been reviewed and approved by Steven Gans, MD, a psychiatrist and assistant clinical professor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Throughout the course, you’ll have worksheets to complete. And an assigned therapist will respond within 24 hours Monday through Friday to give you feedback on your work. But if you prefer to have more interaction with a therapist, you can purchase a plan that allows for individual therapy sessions via live chat. You can also send messages to your therapist at other times to get support or to get answers to your questions.

The program’s “happiness toolbox” includes a journal, an activity plan, and guided yoga and meditation videos that can give you an instant boost in your mood.

The website offers three different subscription levels:

  • Basic: $31.96 per week for online therapy program plus daily therapist feedback.
  • Standard: $47.96 per week for extra therapist support through chat and messaging.
  • Premium: $63.96 per week for express replies, two therapist live chat sessions per week.

Best Video Program: Undoing Depression

Undoing Depression

Courtesy of Udemy

Undoing Depression is a 4.5-hour, on-demand video course offered on Udemy. It includes 17 downloadable resources and is run by Randy Paterson, a Canadian psychologist and the director of Changeways Clinic.

The course is based on cognitive behavioral therapy and helps students gain a better understanding of depression, teaching strategies for taking action that will break the downward spiral of depression.

The course provides a structured system of behavior activation—a gradual goal setting strategy that targets the areas of life that are likely to produce the greatest payoffs in your mood. Once your mood improves (even a little), you’ll be able to challenge the negative thoughts that contribute to your depression.

The course facilitator says the course is appropriate for individuals experiencing depressed mood who wish to take concrete action to reclaim their lives and feel better. This could include individuals with clinical depression as well as those with less intense mood disturbances, including a sense of inertia, boredom, or general dissatisfaction.

The instructor recommends that anyone with clinical depression only take the course after consulting with a qualified healthcare professional.

The course is not appropriate for anyone who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or those experiencing psychotic symptoms.

The course costs $149.99 and for that purchase price, you’ll get lifetime access to the material.

Best for Christian Counseling: Faithful Counseling

Faithful Counseling

Courtesy of Faithful Counseling

Faithful Counseling offers online therapy with licensed therapists who have a Christian background. Counselors combine their clinical expertise in mental health with their Biblical wisdom. The goal is to help clients feel healthy mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

All counselors are licensed psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, or licensed professional counselors. They have all been certified by their state’s professional board and they all possess at least three years and 2,000 hours of hands-on experience.

The sign-up process requires you to complete a short questionnaire about the problems you are experiencing as well as your spiritual beliefs. This questionnaire helps Faithful Counseling match you to a counselor. You will most likely be matched to a counselor within 24 hours of signing up.

You may communicate with your counselor through scheduled video sessions and phone calls, plus unlimited messaging anytime via a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Messaging takes place in a secure room that you can access 24/7. Your counselor will respond to you in the room but it doesn’t occur in real-time. You’ll receive an email notifying you when your counselor has responded. There isn’t a limit to how many messages or sessions you can have with your counselor. You and your counselor decide together how frequently you’ll meet.

Plans range between $40 and $70 per week.

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