It has been widely reported that the pandemic is negatively affecting the mental health of Americans. Isolation from others has caused large numbers of us to become anxious, depressed and even suicidal.
More Americans than ever began seeking help for their mental health during the pandemic. At Catholic Charities Bloomington (CCB), referrals and requests for therapy tripled.
Council Member, LeAnn Luce sees the reports monthly on the number of hours, services, and client therapy sessions. “It has been almost unbelievable,” says Luce of the growth in demand for quality mental health care.
Between 2019 and 2021, the number of therapy sessions completed at Catholic Charities Bloomington (CCB) grew from about 650 per month to 925-an increase of 70%. CCB projects to provide a whopping 10,000 therapy sessions by the end of its fiscal year on June 30.
The subject of how the agency was able to quickly respond to the huge increase in demand for mental health care is the subject of a virtual benefit on May 12, 2021 at 12 noon. Two CCB clients will share their pathways out of the darkness of mental health issues as well.
The agency-which was recognized as the Monroe County Mental Health Champions Outstanding Agency for 2020 by Mental Health America of Monroe County-is hosting the livestream from the CCB Facebook page and from their website, ccbin.org. Just click on “Event.”
Clinical Director, O’Connell Case was awarded Outstanding Mental Health Provider by Mental Health America of Monroe County in 2020. She is grateful for the grants and funds that came from the community which helped CCB to respond to the tremendous increase in demand for help.
“With the help of the community agencies and partners like the United Way of Monroe County, Bloomington City Council, Monroe County Council, and the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, we were able to pivot to telehealth services using technology we had not had before,” said Case.
Case is particularly proud of her innovative and responsive staff, who organized and recently led the first-ever Foster Care, Kinship and Adoptive Families Summit on April 15. It was created in response to a strong desire to fill the gaps in services and support for foster care and adoptive families.
“Our CCB counselors see that there are distinct needs of foster care, kinship, and adoptive families that are different than other families.” About 15% of the 600 to 700 children who are clients at CCB fit into one of these families.
The Summit convened stakeholders to discuss available services, share resources and identify unmet needs. In all, about 30 attended the event over Zoom.
Case was careful to note that CCB does not offer foster care services. She observes that the agency’s expertise in treatment of trauma and attachment attracts families facing these challenges.
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