Center gets free counseling grant

MIDLAND Centers for Children & Families (Centers) proudly announces the award of a grant from the Carl C. Anderson Sr. & Marie Jo Anderson Charitable Foundation for the purpose of providing free counseling to people over 60.

Like all non-profit organizations, Centers recognized, early in the pandemic, that there would be an increased need for all services provided. One of the populations that has been gravely affected has been our senior citizens. This age sector is already at a statistically high risk for isolation, depression, anxiety, and suicide ideation. During the pandemic, mental health concerns were heightened in older adults with depression and/or self-harm, who may have already felt as though they are a burden on society and their families. This part of our community has also experienced new fears, as COVID-19 has taken the lives of friends and family members and ignited new health concerns.

Before the pandemic, Kathleen Kirwan Haynie, executive director of Senior Life Midland, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving senior citizens in the Permian Basin, contacted Centers to talk about the mental health concerns of their clients. This initiated a conversation between the two organizations about finding ways to reach these individuals through counseling services. After COVID-19 became a reality in our area, it became apparent that Senior Life Midland’s clients, and other senior citizens within West Texas, would be experiencing an even greater need for mental health services.

“There is no time like the present to reach out to our seniors and make sure they get the care they need,” Kristi Edwards, executive director of Centers, said.

Unfortunately, Medicare does not provide coverage for Licensed Professional Counselors. While we continue to provide affordable services on an as-needed basis, additional funding has been necessary to allow Centers to reach more people—in particular, those with low-to-moderate income household levels and those who are deemed destitute and living in nursing home facilities.

Centers has recently received a grant from the Carl C. Anderson Sr. & Marie Jo Anderson Charitable Foundation dedicated to providing free counseling to people over the age of 60.  This grant will allow Centers the ability to provide a much-needed free service to seniors in the Permian Basin.

“We are excited about an opportunity to join forces with Senior Life Midland to reach senior citizens who are even more isolated than ever,” Edwards added. The Carl C. Anderson Sr. & Marie Jo Anderson Charitable Foundation funds will go a long way to help us to provide in-person counseling or teletherapy, via internet or phone, to safeguard this special population from additional mental health risks. Physical isolation does not have to mean social isolation. The grant funds will help keep people connected to caring therapists. Quality of life should never have an age of expiration. We look forward to the opportunity to help our seniors together.

Since 1957, Centers for Children and Families (“Centers”) has believed that strong, emotionally healthy families make a strong, healthy community. We are designed to be an affordable resource for individuals and families facing various stages of need. Centers offers Individual, Marital and Family counseling services. Counseling is provided at reduced or no cost. Most insurance plans and Medicaid are accepted. Service is offered for ages 3 and up for group or individual sessions. No referral from a doctor or agency is required. Counseling emphasizes support and healing of individuals and families facing challenges.

For more information on free sessions for senior citizens, call 432-580-7006 in Odessa or 432-570-1084 in Midland or visit centerstx.org.