Psychology for All

Local nonprofit makes psychotherapy more accessible

By Constance Brossa

A commitment to breaking down barriers fuels a Charlotte-area nonprofit’s mission to help those with mental health issues.

Psychology for All delivers free psychotherapy services to Charlotte-Mecklenburg residents 18 and older who cannot access care for reasons including financial hardship and cultural barriers. The organization connects licensed clinicians to clients in need, providing discounted mental health services.

Yu-jay Harris is president of Psychology for All’s board of directors.

Criteria for clients include being uninsured and at or below 175% of federal poverty guidelines. “We look at your income, we look at whether you have insurance, we look at whether you have insurance with a high deductible,” says Yu-jay Harris, president of Psychology for All’s board of directors. “We really want to meet the needs of those who can’t afford (mental health services). We get our clients primarily through partnerships with organizations (such as the Salvation Army).”

Each client receives at least eight sessions with a clinician. Clients have an average household income of $50,000 supporting three or more people. Most clients are Black and Hispanic women, but Harris notes there are “men that we’re trying to serve as well.”

Most of the 20 mental health providers at Psychology for All are white, but Harris says, “We’re slowly growing our representation (of Black and Hispanic clinicians).” Clinicians’ specialties include anxiety, depression, family issues, marriage and parenting.

Psychology for All pays its providers $65 per hourly session. Donors provide funding. One donor, Southeast Psych, is a founder of Psychology for All and has offices in Ballantyne and SouthPark.