April 16, 2020

Amber Roseboom
Director of Media Relations
Catholic Diocese of Arlington

Catholic Charities Mental Health Counseling Services Effectively Reaches Clients Through Teletherapy During Coronavirus Pandemic

Expands Accessibility to Care and Meets Increasing Demand for Counseling During Time of Crisis 

ARLINGTON, Va. - Catholic Charities, which provided mental health counseling to more than 1,100 clients last year at three Catholic Charities locations and 18 parish offices, has transitioned its counseling services to teletherapy in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The mental health services are offered through a videoconferencing platform that is HIPAA compliant. The transition facilitated seamless care during increased social distancing and offers greater accessibility to counselors throughout the 21 counties and seven cities of the Diocese.

“The onset of COVID-19 pushed us to swiftly implement plans we had developed to expand accessibility to our counseling services through teletherapy. While we hoped to use teletherapy as a portion of our care, we are now able to use it for full delivery of counseling services until social distancing guidelines are relaxed,” said Dr. Michael Horne, Director of Clinical Services, Catholic Charities Family Services. “People are experiencing feelings of loneliness and a heightened risk of depression. This is compounded by fear and a sense of loss of control. The biggest challenge we face is a continuing stigma about seeking counseling. That is beginning to change, and I encourage anyone experiencing heightened anxiety or depression to reach out for assistance.” 

Catholic Charities has had a steady increase in those seeking mental health counseling as individuals grapple with the impact of the coronavirus and extended social distancing, making teletherapy increasingly important. 

Before the onset of the pandemic, Catholic Charities had planned to begin offering teletherapy within the next two years so it could serve more rural clients and people who had difficulty receiving counseling because of transportation and childcare issues. This rapid transition brought on by the pandemic enables Catholic Charities to continue serving its current clients and expand its reach. Through teletherapy, people who could not make it to the clinicians' offices before, such as those in remote areas such as the Northern Neck, the Shenandoah Valley, and central Virginia, as well as those in the D.C. suburbs with difficult transportation or childcare issues, are now able to reach Catholic Charities clinicians.  

Catholic Charities clinicians include counselors, clinical social workers, and psychologists who are licensed or pursuing their licenses. Clinicians specialize in treating children, teenagers or adults, and provide marriage and family therapy, and addiction or trauma counseling. Catholic Charities provides sessions in English and Spanish. 

Catholic Charities offers sliding-scale fees for those without health insurance or on limited care plans. Learn more about Catholic Charities confidential counseling services here. For questions or to schedule an appointment, call a Catholic Charities' intake coordinator. Residents of Fredericksburg area or points south, call 703-859-3147. Residents of Springfield area and north, call 703-447-9402. 

For more information, contact Amber Roseboom, Director of Media Relations, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, at 571-215-8731 or

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Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington serves the poor and vulnerable who live within the 21 counties and seven cities of the Diocese of Arlington, which is led by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge. Catholic Charities provides food for the hungry, a free medical clinic for adults including prenatal care, adoption services, transformational housing for the homeless, mental health counseling, emergency financial assistance, prison ministry, workforce development, and immigration and refugee services. Catholic Charities serves all, regardless of faith.