The Council for Relationships

Strong Families, Strong Communities

Compelling Value Proposition

In light of the tragic shootings, bombings and other horrendous attacks on innocent victims in both the general public and among those closest to the attacker, mental health is a key topic on everyone’s mind. The safety, security and success of the community depends on a healthy and productive population. Comprehensive, affordable mental health care is necessary—not negotiable. Yet, the statistics for this are atrocious. In 2014, nearly half of the 5.3 million American adults who perceived the need for, but did not receive mental health care, reported they did not receive it because they could not afford the cost of it, coupled with the fact that “racial minorities and individuals with low income and education levels receive treatment at a much lower rate than Whites and those with middle and upper incomes”1 Within Philadelphia alone, 28% of people live below the federal poverty line, advancing the idea that accessible and affordable mental health services are out of reach for more than 440,000 people regionally2. The Council for Relationships, the oldest continuous mental health family services provider in the country, addresses this huge gap, training the desperately needed therapists through its Strong Relationships, Strong Communities Program.

Background

The mission of the nonprofit Council for Relationships, a pioneer in couple and family therapy since 1932, is to help people understand, respect and improve the quality of the important relationships in their lives by providing unsurpassed clinical care, clinician education and training, and behavioral health research. A diverse team of more than than 70 therapists at 9 offices and community-based locations in the Greater Philadelphia area provide counseling to families, couples, and individuals on a sliding fee scale. The Council is committed to providing quality service to all those in need, regardless of background and ability to pay.

In addition, the Council provides services to vulnerable populations such as persons with Multiple Sclerosis and their families and veterans and their families. The Council partners with community-based organizations to help homeless families, parolees, families whose children are at imminent risk of abuse or neglect, and formerly homeless families through the provision of counseling and education services.

The Program

The number of people reached through Strong Relationships, Strong Communities Training Program is significant. Approximately 500 lower-income individuals, including some Veterans and their family members, receive direct counseling services through the program each year.

  • The American Psychological Association, Race Differences in the Receipt of Mental Health Services among Young Adults, 2012).
  • (The Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity, A Running Start Philadelphia 2013).

With the half-dozen clergy members who participate in the program, thousands more benefit indirectly by being members of their congregations. The impact broadens as the therapists use what they have learned to help clients, congregants and others have the healthiest relationships possible – and thus lead safer, stronger more productive lives.

The Strong Relationships, Strong Communities Training Program—CFR’s education of social workers, clergy members and other professionals who are working toward licensure as marriage and family therapists includes courses about providing effective care to underserved populations and diverse people and a clinical practicum during which each of the professionals-in-training, under the supervision of an expert therapist, works with dozens of lower-income people to meet their mental health needs. The Strong Relationships, Strong Communities Training Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), meeting the stringent requirements of this national program which ensures that therapists are well-trained to meet the breadth of needs of a diverse range of clients – including those who are most challenged.

The curriculum for the Strong Relationships, Strong Communities Training Program includes a range of family therapy courses that focus on diverse and more-challenged communities, addressing the poverty-trauma connection (which is currently receiving a great deal of attention) and related therapy issues, working with homeless clients, Veterans' courts, domestic violence offender programs, immigrant populations, and more.

The needs of Veterans and their family members are a particular focus of Council for Relationships’ work – and the training provided to our students – because there is a great need for the provision of mental health care with military cultural competency. Council for Relationships is one of the 13% of community mental health care provider organizations nationally that meet the Department of Defense/Veterans’ Affairs criteria for cultural competency identified in a recent study by the RAND Corporation.

Key Impact

  • Improved lives among the underserved population and Veterans
  • Better-trained Therapists and Counselors

Corporate Sponsorship

The naming sponsorship of the Strong Relationships, Strong Communities Program will be:

  • Publicized regularly at each of CFR’s nine offices (name, logo and QR code if desired)
  • Feature prominently on the Council’s website and social media sites (name, logo and QR code/hyperlink/social media links if desired)
  • Promoted in emails to its more-than-9,000 list of supporters
  • Sent to the organizations and congregations related to its student interns and other groups for dissemination to their thousands of members.

Thousands of people in the greater Philadelphia area will benefit from and/or understand the impact of the sponsor’s support of the program. Due to the nature of the Council’s Program, this is a naming opportunity, but does not offer options for employee engagement.

Budget

Courses: 2 at $2,880 each = $5,760

Supervision Blocks: 26 at $740 each = $19,240 (provided to interns by expert therapists)

Total = $25,000 per year