Counseling Services Exceed Expectations
The Family Initiative Project was born out of a need for affordable counseling services for Isabella County families and individuals. Faye Schaeffer, Christian Counseling of Mid Michigan (CCMM) employee, described the lack of affordable counseling as a “need especially among lower income families in the community. The financial hurdle, along with the mental health stigmatism makes reaching this demographic very difficult.” The impact of this program results in more stable families, community and local schools.
Every three years, the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee conducts a Youth Needs Assessment to ascertain the top issues facing Isabella County youth today. Stress, school pressure, depression and loss have consistently been identified as some of greatest struggles. The YAC recommended support for the Family Initiation Project from the Kellogg Youth Fund as a way to address a top need identified in their survey. The Fabiano Family Fund, a community impact fund, also partially funded this project.
CCMM offers services to anyone in need, regardless of their ability to pay. Employees felt pleasantly surprised at how far they were able to stretch the grant funding and the overall number of families and youth that were served. The total number of child and adolescent sessions held exceeded 85 with 100% of the services being provided at a reduced rate. CCMM reports that 73% of families will continue with services beyond the date of the project. CCMM will continue to offer services at affordable rates without ever turning anyone away due to an inability to pay.