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"To love and serve our neighbors as ourselves."

Catholic Charities provides life-saving aide, including spiritual and mental health care to neighbors in need.

Catholic Charities offers caring and professional counseling services to individuals who find themselves experiencing emotional and spiritual life situations. Trained counselors can address issues such as the loss of a loved one, stress related to financial or medical issues, and much more. Those in need often lack the resources to pay for high-quality counseling, which is why no one is turned away due to inability to pay.

Kim—who received help from another branch of Catholic Chariites—was one such individual in need. When Kim’s world came crashing down around her, she remembered something her mother had always told her, “When you’re in need, go to church.”

Four years before, Kim’s brother died suddenly in a car crash, leaving her the sole caretaker of her mother, as her father had died of Parkinson’s years before. Soon after, her mother died. Still reeling from these deaths, Kim was at her job of 22 years when her boss walked in and handed over her last paycheck. Kim moved to Pennsylvania for a new job and a fresh start, but six months later, lost that job as well.

She moved in with friends to regroup. When she had a falling out with them, and with nowhere to turn, Kim knew she needed to find help. But she had lost her family and alienated her friends. She considered counseling, but didn’t have the means to pay for it. Then she remembered her mom’s advice, reached out, and found out that her local branch of Catholic Charities offered counseling services for many of the issues with which she was struggling: anxiety, depression, trauma, and relationship problems.

Kim started meeting a counselor and began to work through her grief and years of personal turmoil. With counseling, Kim started to face and overcome more than she ever thought she could. For example, she also had high levels of anxiety that made it difficult to make decisions. Counseling helped Kim address the challenges in her life in practical ways, all in a supportive and caring environment.

“You get the comfort and support of saying what you would say to your family members,” Kim explained.

Catholic Charities provides hope and healing to people like Kim in communities throughout the Diocese of Altoona Johnstown. Counselors offer support to those who are most vulnerable by lending a helping hand and a listening ear when people don’t have anywhere to turn. Times of mental illness often correlate with times of financial hardship, and Catholic Charities fills an essential gap in the community for people who need mental health care but cannot afford it.

"Every day, I meet people who have struggled with job loss or the loss of a loved one. Many of them have really benefited from counseling at Catholic Charities,” says Jean Johnstone, executive director of Catholic Charities, “It helps them cope with life's hardships. It's one more way we care for the body, mind, and spirit in Jesus' name. If you know someone who could benefit from counseling services, contact Catholic Charities today." 

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