Did you know IT spending in behavioral health organizations accounts for only 1.8% of their total operating budget?
I get it.
It’s hard enough to find the money for all the staff and treatment resources you need to run your mental health practice, let alone new EHR systems, computers, and other IT infrastructure.
But there are plenty of tools out there that don’t require you to take out a second mortgage to implement, and that will increase the efficiency or your practice to boot.
Many of the following little-known free mental health tools and resources are built to help you with smaller things around the day-to-day work of your organization, but if you can save money on these small things, you can use that money for some of the bigger changes that can really grow your practice, like mental health software.
This is the best centralized collection of free tools and templates for therapists and other mental health workers. From direct downloads of blank formulations like Belief-Driven CBT, to thought records, therapy blueprints, and specific disorder formulations like PTSD, you’ll find helpful templates for just about anything. These tools are ideal for those just entering the profession or those looking to get a little more organized with their procedures.
All worksheets and templates are downloadable as free PDFs, and the enterprising mental health professional can even contribute additional free resources to the site.
Additionally, Psychology Tools links to similar resources from their downloads page, including the Australian CCIs templates for specific disorders like social anxiety and body dysmorphia.
A site devoted to worksheets, tools, and handouts for mental health counselors, Therapist Aid is run by a licensed mental health counselor, and allows you to search for specific t resources by demographic, topic/disorder, and type (worksheet, article, etc.). Topics covered include anger, CBT, depression, and self harm. The eight pages of free worksheets are the most useful, and run the gamut from anger warning signs to suicide assessments.
All worksheets and articles are free to download, and can be accessed and saved as PDFs.
3. Free appointment scheduling tools
The following three tools all offer the same basic functionality for free, but differ in several of the peripherals they provide. If you need an easy way to schedule appointments with clients, however, any one of them should be an easy way to use your existing Google Calendar to greater effect.
YouCanBook.me integrates with Google Calendar and allows patients to book appointments through a custom form and booking page you control. Free for unlimited number of bookings, YouCanBook.me also has text message reminders, auto-email notifications, and the ability to take payments. If you want more advanced features like multiple Google Calendars or tentative bookings, plans start at $16 per month.
SimplyBook.me differs from YouCanBook.me in that it is free for fewer than 50 appointments per month, but it also includes email and SMS confirmation emails and reminders as well as a free personal web-page with a booking form and the ability to add details about your practice including a Google Maps location. Upgraded accounts start at $8 per month.
Setmore also integrates with Google Calendar and is free for unlimited appointments, but features like two-way calendar sync and SMS appointment reminders require a premium account, starting at $25 per month.
These online assessments created by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America allow patients to answer a series of “yes/no” questions based on common psychiatric disorder scales, and then save and print out the results. These are great, simple tools to quickly screen your patients. They cover everything from GAD, to PTSD, to depression.
With links to dozens of tests, from alcoholism screenings, to ADHD health checks, and mania-depression mood scales, this page is a great central repository of free tools and resources for behavioral health professionals. Scroll down for personality assessments, free guides, and mental health state exams.
What other great (free) tools have you found online for the mental health profession? Add your recommendations in the comments below!