“Mental Health Matters” on Giving Tuesday

BRIDGEPORT—“Mental Health Matters” will be the theme of this year’s Giving Tuesday (November 30) across the diocese.

All diocesan Giving Tuesday contributions will support the Catholic Charities of Fairfield County Fund, specifically its mental health programs.

“The holiday season is upon us and Giving Tuesday, November 30, is right around the corner. Foundations in Charity is thrilled to be at the forefront of this critical effort,” said Ann McCrory, chair of the Board of Foundations in Charities.

McCrory said the pandemic has had a significant impact on mental health and that. Locally, Catholic Charities has seen a significant increase in adults and children seeking help for anxiety, depression and trauma.

“Most of us have likely felt more anxiety, grief and loss over the past two years than we ever have before. Imagine how difficult it must be for the poor and most vulnerable members of our community, many of whom were struggling pre-pandemic then lost their jobs as the pandemic hit. We hope people will remember them on Giving Tuesday.”

Mike Donoghue, executive director of Catholic Charities, said that since March 2020 the Behavioral Health services have experienced across the board increase:

  • 42% increase in domestic violence cases seeking clinical help
  • 33% increase in chronic alcohol abuse among women seeking clinical help
  • 47 % increase of anxiety/ panic and depression among adults and children seeking clinical help.

“Many low and middle-income families can’t afford mental health counseling because either their insurance doesn’t cover it, the co-pay is too high, or many private therapists won’t take Medicaid or Medicare,” said Donoghue.

“That’s why fundraising is so important because it enables us to provide this vital service ministry to individuals and families who have nowhere else to go. Through the generosity of our donors, we make sure that finances are not a barrier for any clients seeking assistance from Catholic Charities. Giving is more important now than ever because of the increased needs we see every day,” he said.

Catholic Charities of Fairfield County is accredited by the Council on Accreditation and licensed by the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Department of Children and Families. Clinic staff consists of skilled master level and licensed clinicians with training in various mental health disciplines, including counseling, clinical social work, medication management, and marriage and family therapy. The medical director is a board-certified psychiatrist. In addition to its regional offices, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Catholic Charities Behavioral Health began offering expanded telehealth services for individuals and groups. To reach those in need, the clinics offer evening appointments, have the bilingual capacity in Spanish.

To donate to this crucial effort, visit the donate page at Catholic Charities will also be accepting Venmo: @foundation-charity