Mental health and counseling

Below you will find listings for:

Crisis hotlines
Free and low-cost local counseling resources

You can help us keep these listings up to date! Please use the form at the bottom of this page to send us corrections, updates, or suggestions about additional resources to list.

Crisis hotlines

As always, call 911 for a life-threatening crisis.

Texas Health and Human Services is offering a COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line, available 24/7: 833-986-1919. Mental health professionals help callers deal with anxiety, depression, stress, grief, and worry.

Locally in Waco and McLennan County, MHMR’s Mobile Crisis Outreach Team (MCOT) provides community-based crisis assessment and response. The team meets people where they are: at home, on the street, in the hospital, or in a shelter. Call 866-752-3451.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers free and confidential support for people in distress by phone and by chat, in English and in Spanish, as well as multiple options for people who are Deaf and hard-of-hearing. Here are the numbers, English: 800-273-8255; Spanish: 888-628-9454; Deaf and hard-of-hearing—TTY and chat: 800-799-4889, video relay service or voice/caption phone: 800-273-8255. Like the phone lines, chat is available 24/7. Because of the high demand, it may be necessary to wait for a counselor. The wait is worth it.

The SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7 crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters: 800-985-5990. Services are available in English and Spanish.

The Crisis Text Line offers free, confidential support to people in crisis via text. Text Home to 741741.

The Alzheimers Association’s helpline is available 24/7, 365 days a year. They offer support for people living with dementia and their loved ones and caregivers. With bilingual staff and a translation service, the hotline can accommodate callers in more than 200 languages. Dial 711 for a TRS operator (telecommunications relay service). On the helpline’s website you will also find links for live chat and a form you can type your question into if you prefer.

Finally, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) offers a list of Warmlines that offer free confidential support in noncrisis situations. The Warmlines are listed by state, but many accept out-of-state calls. Some of them ask callers to leave a message and receive a call back.

Free and low-cost local counseling resources

Our thanks to local therapist and former Amberley Collaborative board member Jaja Chen, LCSW, CDWF, and Sara Beth Stoltzfus, LMSW, of Methodist Children’s Home, for helping us gather these resources:

There are quite a few places in the Greater Waco area that provide free or reduced-fee counseling options, depending on what type of counseling you are looking for. Some of these providers take insurance or offer telehealth counseling services, as indicated below.

The Advocacy Center
3312 Hillcrest Dr.
Waco, TX 76708

The Advocacy Center has a 24-hour hotline (888-867-7233) and provides free counseling services for individuals, children, and families who have experienced sexual assault or other crimes against them. Spanish-speaking services are available. Their office phone number is 254-752-9330, and they are located at 3312 Hillcrest Drive. They are still providing services during the COVID-19 crisis.

Family Abuse Center
Waco, TX 76702

The Family Abuse Center (FAC) provides free counseling services for individuals and children who have experienced domestic violence, whether currently or in the past. To access services, call the 24-hour hotline at 800-283-8401. Domestic violence includes physical, sexual, financial, and emotional or psychological abuse. Family Abuse Center provides services to clients living in the community as well as those staying at the domestic violence shelter. Spanish-speaking services are available. They are still providing services during the COVID-19 crisis.

Family Health Center
1900 Providence Drive (main office)
Waco, TX 76707

The Family Health Center has a counseling center for individuals, children, couples, and families at their main site. The Center accepts Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP, and most major health insurance plans. It can also provide a Good Health Card for discounted medical, dental, counseling, and other services for individuals and families without insurance who meet the income requirements to qualify. You can reach the Family Health Center’s counseling services at 254-313-4500. They are still providing services during the COVID-19 crisis. Telehealth services are available.

Heart of Texas MHMR
110 S. 12th St.
Waco, TX 76708

Heart of Texas MHMR serves individuals and families coping with mental illness, intellectual and developmental disabilities, addictions, and emotional conflict. It also provides 24/7 mental health crisis response through its Mobile Crisis Outreach Team (MCOT): 866-752-3451. MHMR accepts most major health insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare, and provides sliding-scale and financial hardship payment options. Telehealth services are available.

Heart of Texas Counseling Center
2800 Lyle Ave.
Waco, TX 76708

The Heart of Texas Counseling Center provides shorter-term (6–9 months) outpatient adult mental health services to individuals who do not qualify for the main MHMR services but are needing support in mental health recovery. Sessions are provided on an income-based sliding scale. Medicaid, Medicare, and other insurance plans are accepted, but they are not required because the center seeks to not turn anyone away due to lack of insurance or income. Bilingual Spanish-speaking services are available. To access services, call 254-297-7100. They are still providing services during the COVID-19 crisis. Telehealth services are available.

Professional Counseling Services
2121 W. Waco Dr.
Waco, TX 76707

Dr. Jasmine Khan’s Professional Counseling Services is a group of therapists who provide insurance-based counseling services. Most major types of insurance and payment are accepted, including Medicaid and Crime Victim’s Compensation (CVC). Sliding-scale therapy is provided by Licensed Professional Counseling interns. Call 254-235-6542 to discuss options. Telehealth services are available.

Klaras Center for Children and Families
1105 Jefferson Ave.
Waco, TX 76701

The Klaras Center for Children and Families (known as KCF) assists children and adolescents, ages 3 through 21, who have significant emotional or behavioral difficulties. These children must demonstrate a need for intensive services and meet eligibility requirements. Call the Klaras Center directly at 254-752-7889 to speak with an intake specialist, who will conduct a phone screening and, if appropriate, schedule an admissions appointment for your child.

STARRY Counseling
2323 Columbus Ave.
Waco, TX 76701

STARRY Counseling Waco provides free family and individual counseling services to families with children up to 17 years old or still in high school. Counseling services are available at no cost to all families regardless of income level or insurance coverage. Common reasons families may pursue counseling at STARRY include divorce, grief, family conflict, behavioral issues, parenting support, and trauma. STARRY’s Fatherhood Focus program provides father-positive services to dads and male caregivers, in Spanish as well as English. STARRY’s phone number is 254-399-6552. Free telehealth services are available.

Baylor Psychology Clinic
800 W. Washington Ave.
Waco, TX 76701

The Baylor Psychology Clinic offers sliding scale counseling to children and adults. As of this writing, they are not accepting new patients during the COVID-19 crisis, but they are continuing with current clients via telehealth: 254-710-2470.

MCH Family Outreach
524 W. Waco Ave.
Waco, TX 76701

MCH Family Outreach provides free in-home case management and support to families, as well as parenting classes and support groups. Case managers can provide families with support connecting to counseling and other resources. During COVID-19, family support continues creatively, primarily through video and phone calls. Call 254-750-1263 for more information.

Mental Health Match
Mental Health Match is an online directory that individuals can use to find a Texas-based licensed private practice therapist. Therapists indicate whether or not they provide telehealth services along with their counseling specializations in their online portals. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Mental Health Match is providing the first counseling session (for up to 100 participants) for free.

Coronavirus Online Therapy directory
Through the Coronavirus Online Therapy directory, therapists across the United States have committed to providing low-cost services (maximum $50 per session for the first 4 counseling sessions) to frontline workers. Frontline healthcare workers, first responders, grocery store workers, and other frontline essential workers who are serving us during the COVID-19 pandemic are encouraged to follow up directly with therapists listed in the online directory.

Private-practice therapists
Finally, some private practice therapists have sliding-scale and free counseling slots open. You can ask about this option when you inquire about counseling. If you do not have insurance, you can tell them that you are looking for sliding-scale or reduced-fee options for counseling. In addition to Dr. Jasmine Khan’s Professional Counseling Services, detailed above, you might try Get Out of Your Head Therapy.

You can help us keep these listings up to date! Please use the form below to send us corrections, updates, or suggestions about additional resources to list.