As a behavioral or mental health professional, you may be aware of the benefits of mental health software including specialty-specific templates for mental therapy and customized intake and evaluation forms. But if you’re worried that a mental health solution will cost you a lot or investing in the wrong tool may prove risky, then relax—we’ve got you covered. Though some practices pay top dollar for mental health tools, you don’t always have to.
There are few mental health tools that cost nothing to use and you can upgrade those to a paid version to access additional features when you scale. Below, you’ll find three free mental health software tools and learn how much each costs to upgrade. These free tools (arranged alphabetically) have been picked from the 2021 Capterra Shortlist for Mental Health Software. (See full selection methodology here.)
- Free plan: Supports unlimited clients, paperless intakes, appointment reminders, and online payments.
- Paid plans: Start at $39 per month for a single clinician.
SimplePractice is a cloud-based mental health solution that helps mental health professionals automate processes such as appointment scheduling, payment processing, and documentation to improve patient care. Its key features include appointment reminders, initial assessments, claims management, and compliance tracking.
The tool’s client portal allows you to manage insurance claims, appointment requests, bill payments, and messaging. It also lets you access documents on mobile devices and track patient progress or outcomes.
The tool offers mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.
- Free plan: Includes customizable intake forms, unlimited note templates with custom forms, and automatic email, phone, and text appointment reminders.
- Paid plans: Start at $39 per month for up to 30 active patients.
TheraNest is a cloud-based mental health solution used by therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists. It offers a client portal, appointment scheduling, progress notes, treatment plans, and discharge notes.
Its billing features include insurance claims, credit card services, and batch invoices. You can also generate reports on payroll, invoices, and staff billing.
The tool offers mobile apps for iOS and Android devices to help healthcare professionals provide patient care on the move.
- Free plan: Includes unlimited clients, appointments, and notes, as well as phone and email support.
- Paid plans: Start at $25 per month for one user.
TherapyNotes is a cloud-based mental and behavioral health software solution that offers a patient portal, patient scheduling, and medical billing. It allows mental health professionals to create and customize treatment plans, progress notes, psychological evaluations, and termination notes.
It offers a billing module that lets you create statements and billing reports. Its credit card processing module lets you swipe credit cards into the system and save card information for future transactions. You can also create recurring appointments and send appointment reminders to patients.
The tool has mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.
How to choose the right free mental health tool for your practice
These considerations can make selecting a free mental health tool a little easier:
- Look for a scalable solution. As your medical practice grows, you’ll need to handle more patients, more documentation, and more complex operations.
- Compare the free usage limits of the products (such as the number of users and available features) and shortlist tools accordingly.
Common questions to ask while selecting a free mental health tool
As a mental health practitioner, you’ll probably have many questions when selecting free mental health software, and it’s important to get answers from software providers and/or their sales representatives. Here are a few key questions to consider asking:
- How frequently do you release new updates? The answer to this will help you gauge how active the vendor is in maintaining and improving the tool. If the vendor hasn’t released any update or a new feature in a while, this can be a sign that you may face challenges in using the tool.
- Will I need additional training to use the tool? Check with the software provider how complex the tool is. Ask if you’ll need additional training to get familiar with its features and if this training will cost you extra.
- Does the software upgrade cost include phone-based tech support? This will help you get clarity on the type of premium support you’ll receive when you start paying for the software.
How we rate
This article was updated on April 23, 2021. Products considered for this article had to be in Capterra’s 2021 Shortlist for Mental Health Software and:
- Offer a free, standalone version of the software (not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product after a limited amount of time).
- Meet our mental health definition: “Mental health software, also known as behavioral health software, allows physicians, therapists and other related professionals to manage their clinical, administrative and operational workflows. The software also manages patient case or outcome management and ensures regulatory compliance.”
The listed products are part of Capterra’s 2021 shortlist of mental health products, and were evaluated to assess whether they included the core features mentioned below:
- Initial assessments
- Assessment notes
- Case management
Products that met all of the above criteria were selected for the article.