Many parish priests in our diocese tell us that their greatest need is for trustworthy professional counselors to whom they can refer parishioners, school children, and families. Without these vital services, a marriage might end in divorce or a student might face expulsion from school.
To address this need, we have recently added the Clinical Liaison role, whose job is to work directly with the parish priest (or his designee) to secure counseling services for the individual or family involved. It is important to note that the Clinical Liaison only works directly with the priest and Catholic school principals.
Here in our diocese, we have 13,668 students, and many are dealing with emotional, psychological or mental-health issues that keep them from academic success.
We see the symptoms every day: an unexplained sadness, a withdrawn demeanor, disruptive behaviors, or difficulty concentrating. Far from being garden-variety discipline problems, these students need our help to get at those deep hurts that hold them back. And tragically for many these issues are a predictor of a life of poverty. Statistics show that there is a strong correlation between a low level of academic achievement and poverty.
This is why we are developing professional counseling services for these children and their families. By partnering with principals, guidance counselors and parents, we will use our clinical expertise to treat the hidden pains that prevent Emma from achieving her potential.
Parish Referrals for Counseling
Parish priests or their designated staff members may call our Clinical Liaison for help navigating the mental health system throughout Northern Indiana. Catholic Charities has built a network of high-quality clinicians with expertise in responding to and treating a wide variety of mental and emotional health concerns, with profound respect for the spiritual lives of their clients. We help parishes connect their members to either our own qualified counselors or treatment providers in our network, depending upon the unique needs and preferences of the person, couple or family entrusted to our care by their parish priest.
Our ambition is to eventually take our faith-based perspective and professional counseling services to the broader community. There are 1.2 million people in our diocese, many of whom cannot afford or easily access professional counseling.
Victims of Human Trafficking
There is a nationwide epidemic of sex and labor trafficking, and our diocese is no exception. Starting in 2018, we will help freed victims deal with the trauma of their captivity and adjustment back into the community.