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Attain Housing client families now have direct access to mental health counseling services

The groundwork is complete and Attain Housing clients have begun meeting with our designated therapist, Victoria, whose position has been made possible by a generous grant from Premera Blue Cross.

Since receiving the grant in October 2020, Attain Housing has been working with partners at Catholic Community Services (CCS) and its CReW (Counseling, Recovery & Wellness) program to create the infrastructure for our joint mental-health support services pilot program. Adding direct access to mental health services has been a long-term goal for Attain Housing staff and board members and we are so excited to be able to include counseling as part of our Transitional Housing program.

The program’s therapist has begun to start treatment with a handful of clients, and Attain Case Managers are working on getting more folks included.

“I’m really excited to have a therapist all set up for receiving referrals from our families and to be available for those who are up for it,” Greg said. “It’s not an automatic fix, though, because depending on your culture and what you’ve been through, there are still stigmas about seeing a mental health therapist. We’re really trying to frame it in ways that will appeal to clients, like talking about healthy parenting strategies or coping with pandemic-related issues in hopes of making it less stigmatized and more issue-specific.”

The joint mental health team is also discussing ways to measure outcomes such as number of clients participating, number of clients maintaining a relationship with Victoria and pre- and post-assessments measuring depression, anxiety or PTSD.

We’d like to share some sobering results of a recent mental health survey conducted by Premera Blue Cross:

  • 2/3rds of the workers surveyed report having higher levels of anxiety than before the pandemic; 27% describe their anxiety level as “much higher”
  • Parents and teachers are significantly more likely to say their level of stress is much higher
  • 43% of the working women surveyed, and 42% of the teachers, said their mental health has declined during the pandemic
  • 31% of the people in the study are worrying about money. Those most concerned are parents, young workers and Latinx workers