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Catholic Charities Launches Crowdfunding with $100,000 Match to Expand Mental Health Services

Posted May 25, 2021

In response to an escalating need for mental health and addiction services, Catholic Charities is launching a crowdfunding campaign that will increase awareness for a recently established Mental Health Hotline and Central Intake System and expand mental health and addiction services across the eight-county Diocese of Cleveland (Ashland, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Summit, and Wayne). An anonymous $100,000 matching gift will fuel this important "double your donation" campaign. Contributions will be accepted during the month of June at Donations made through the online site will be matched dollar for dollar up to $100,000.

Catholic Charities Expansion of Mental Health Services Across Northeast Ohio

In 2020, Catholic Charities served a total of 4,289 individuals who were seeking help from their Behavioral Health programs and services. As clients became more familiar with telehealth and the requests for counseling and psychiatric assistance grew, Catholic Charities improved their response by creating a Central Intake System to increase accessibility and give immediate access to any program across all eight counties served by Catholic Charities. With 70 therapists across the system, clients have been able to receive treatment regardless of location. In the coming months, Catholic Charities expects to see a surge of people seeking services as the pandemic subsides and more people feel comfortable seeking in-person services.

"The next few months will be critical," says Pat Gareau, President of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Cleveland. "We have been through so much as a society, and people are going to need someone to talk to."

The U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse survey found almost 4 in 10 Ohio adults have reported symptoms of anxiety or depression since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to only one in ten adults in 2019. Stressors stemming directly from the COVID-19 pandemic, such as lack of support and difficulty balancing remote work while caring for children, have contributed to a higher incidence of anxiety and depression. Unemployment, lost wages, loss of health coverage, eviction, and housing insecurity stemming from the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 are also likely to increase stressors that negatively impact mental health.

"People have come together to offer a helping hand throughout the last 18 months of this pandemic and really shed light on how much we need each other," continues Gareau. "Our therapists and counselors are ready to talk and offer guidance and assistance, and this campaign will help us continue to provide help and hope to all those in need across Northeast Ohio."

Catholic Charities is one of the region's most significant health and human service providers, assisting over 400,000 people in need annually throughout the eight-county Catholic Diocese of Cleveland (Ashland, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Summit, and Wayne).

People in need of Mental Health and Addiction Services can call the Catholic Charities Mental Health Hotline at 1-800-860-7373. Donations can be made June 1-30 at Donors can also call 216-696-6525 x1049 to donate.

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