Family Guidance Center Makes Mental Health Care Accessible

COVID-19 has caused a steep increase in mental health problems. The isolation, uncertainty, and grief suddenly hurled into everyone’s lives have exacerbated symptoms in those with existing mental health conditions and sparked new problems in others. Therapy and proper medication are invaluable tools in the management of these issues; unfortunately, lack of funds and insurance – hardships also exacerbated by the pandemic – make it difficult for many Berks Countians to seek the counseling they need.

Family Guidance Center, a United Way agency partner, is here to help. The agency is the only state-licensed outpatient clinic in the county offering counseling and medication management on a sliding fee scale, thanks to a partnership with United Way. People from all walks of life and ages receive life-changing, and often life-saving, treatment. From a single session to intensive year-long programs, Family Guidance Center is treating clients suffering from mental illness, trauma, and substance abuse. Last year, they spent over 19,000 clinical hours with 1,600 different clients.

When the pandemic arrived full-force in March, Family Guidance shifted to telehealth; providing patients a valued connection virtually with therapists.

The team at Family Guidance Center is no stranger to working with individuals facing debilitating issues. A recent patient suffered from acute depression, she could barely get out of bed, let alone hold a job. At the same time, she received distressing medical news compounding her situation. Over the course of her treatment at Family Guidance Center, she processed her emotions, learned healthy coping mechanisms, and received all the support and care she needed. She eventually returned to the workforce, no longer bound to her home by her illness – – all thanks to the tools provided to her by the United Way funded program at Family Guidance Center.

United Way and Agency Partners: helping people live healthier and fuller lives