ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix-area church raises more than $1 million for mental health aid

Dec 6, 2020, 12:56 PM | Updated: Dec 7, 2020, 9:23 am

Senior pastor Ashley Wooldridge (Facebook Photo/Christ's Church of the Valley)...

Senior pastor Ashley Wooldridge (Facebook Photo/Christ's Church of the Valley)

(Facebook Photo/Christ's Church of the Valley)

PHOENIX — Christ’s Church of the Valley in Peoria has raised more than $1 million for people needing financial assistance for mental health counseling.

“Paying for professional counseling is not cheap and that’s actually one of the barriers from getting the help they need,” CCV senior pastor Ashley Wooldridge told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad.

Wooldridge and the church launched the “Press On” campaign in November to respond to growing mental health challenges in the Valley and to connect people in need of help with resources such as counseling.

With the money raised, CCV is offering to help pay for the first 10 counseling sessions for those in need struggling with their mental health, whether they attend the church or not.

The church offers a list of vetted counselors that it has worked with and will refer people to.

“That’s our way of serving our Valley during what’s a really tough time,” Wooldridge said. “We really hope people take advantage of getting help. This is another pandemic that needs to get some more airtime.”

Nearly one in five adults in the United States live with a mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

If you or someone you know is struggling, text “HELP” to 72020 or visit the campaign’s website.

Wooldridge said more than 1,900 people have texted the help line since the launch.

“Our staff has done an incredible job,” he said. “We’ve followed up with every single one of them and are getting them the help they need.”

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Phoenix-area church raises more than $1 million for mental health aid