“I want to stress how important it is to reach out for help if you are struggling. There should be no stigma in seeking professional counseling in order to obtain assistance with the issues so many of us are facing these days. This assistance is often available through Employee Assistance Programs, county mental health offices and many other avenues. It is so important to make the space in our lives to fully comprehend the issues we may be suffering from, such as depression, unresolved grief, isolation, marital pressures, substance misuse, or simply the unaccustomed stress of living in such close quarters and coping with balancing working and schooling children at home. It is critical to get the help we need before we are in crisis.”
~ Archbishop William E. Lori
As part of the new Archdiocese of Baltimore Mental Health Initiative, Archbishop William E. Lori has created a workgroup of mental health professionals to develop resources and trainings to assist individuals, parishes, schools and other institutions throughout the Archdiocese in accessing services and other supports for the communities they serve. As an initial step, the workgroup has compiled the following list of resources to provide suggestions for where to find the help you, a family member, or a member of your community might need.
The cost of mental health care varies. The listings below can help find providers who offer free service or payment on a sliding scale based on individual factors.
Some employers offer free and confidential counseling through Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs).
Health care insurance may cover most or some cost of mental health care. Some insurance plans provide fuller coverage for “in network” lists of providers. A plan might provide some, but less coverage, for “out of network” providers.
Some providers do not participate with insurance companies at all but charge you directly. They will provide you with documents that you may submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. These providers may offer their own payment plans. When seeking a provider, be sure to ask about fees and payment, and what kind of insurance coverage they may accept. Health savings accounts can be used for counseling and therapy.
It will also be helpful ahead of time to ask your insurance company the following questions:
Is approval or prior authorization required from my primary care physician or by the therapist?
Please keep in mind that each individual will need to research options to determine which provider is best suited to their needs. The resources listed are meant to give many options and are not intended as specific recommendations.
When in doubt or confused, reach out for help! In addition to the resources listed below, consider reaching out to your physician, pastor or a trusted friend who might be able to help direct you to the services you need.
Maryland’s Helpline, 211 press 1, is a free and confidential, 24 hour a day, 365 days a year information service for individuals and family members facing mental illness and/or substance use disorders. This service provides help and support, and referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. 211 press 1 can also help if you are feeling overwhelmed, or feeling like hurting yourself or someone else.
You can also call the national suicide hotline, which is available 24/7 at 800-273-8255 or visit the nearest Emergency Room for a psychiatric evaluation and referral to further resources. However, if you or someone you know is facing a life-threatening emergency or expressing an immediate suicidal intent, dial 911.
A comprehensive, geographically-based listing of Mental Health Resources throughout the State of Maryland
Villa Maria Community Behavioral Health Resources of Catholic Charities has numerous clinics throughout Maryland. Counseling, psychiatry, substance use disorder treatment and related services are provided to children, adults and families at the various locations as well as 120 public school partnerships. They are able to accept Medicaid and Medicare as well as out of network self pay.
Inspirit Counseling Services, Inc., is a not-for-profit interfaith agency of licensed, professional therapists representing a diversity of mental health disciplines. Inspirit provides services to individuals, couples, families, and group. They are dedicated to strengthening emotional and spiritual health by using the insights and resources of religious traditions and the behavioral sciences in their counseling. Inspirit accepts most insurance that covers mental health. Teletherapy is covered by most insurance during the pandemic. If you do not have insurance, Inspirit may offer charges on a sliding scale of fees, depending on your income.
A professional counseling center with two locations (Towson and Silver Spring, MD) providing outpatient therapy, candidate assessments, and spiritual direction for Catholic clergy, religious, and laity. Caritas is committed to providing excellent care at a reasonable cost, and will assist their clients with receiving out-of-network coverage.
The Psychology Division at the Loyola Clinical Centers offers a full range of outpatient services that are designed to meet their clients’ psychological, emotional, and academic needs. Counseling is offered on a sliding scale fee by Loyola University graduate student clinicians who receive direct supervision and expertise from multiple professors licensed to practice psychology in Maryland. Since the Loyola Clinical Center is a training facility, fees are already substantially lower than those provided by private practitioners. However, additional reduction of fees is available through our sliding scale to those who demonstrate financial need.
Since 1999, CatholicCounselors.com has been helping Catholics find practice, faith-filled answers to tough marriage, family and personal/emotional struggles. Their team of pastoral counselors are fully-licensed and trained to integrate cutting-edge insights from counseling psychology with the timeless wisdom of the Catholic faith to help you find the resources you need to heal your heart, soul, and mind. They charge $150/session, and although they do not accept insurance (except Solidarity Healthshare) they do provide a statement for those who would like to seek reimbursement from their insurance company.
Sheppard Pratt’s Psychiatric Urgent Care offers in-person and virtual care options for individuals of all ages who need immediate psychiatric assessments or referrals to a higher level of care; rather than going to an ER. Offered at their Towson and Baltimore/Washington campuses, their professionals will refer you or your loved one to the right care. Their care options include:
Learn more about their services using Sheppard Pratt’s Care Finder tool on their website.
Sheppard Pratt hospitals and some programs participate with Maryland Medicaid and Medicare and many major insurance companies (including CareFirst, CIGNA, Aetna, United Healthcare, and Kaiser). Because of variations between policies, it is best to contact your insurer directly to determine whether they are in their network for your plan.
The Kennedy Krieger Behavioral Psychology Department provides in-patient and out-patient services to children and families with a variety of behavioral health needs. Kennedy Krieger is contracted with many commercial insurance providers, and with Medicare and certain state Medicaid plans. Under these contracts, their services are usually considered in-network. If your insurance provider does not contract with Kennedy Krieger for your insurance plan, please check with your provider anyway to determine any out-of-network benefits you may have.
NAMI Maryland provides educational resources and events, statewide outreach, advocacy and affiliate organizational support. NAMI Maryland provides the free trainings that allow NAMI affiliates to deliver NAMI programs. Local NAMI affiliates in Maryland offer free peer support, education and outreach programs, and engage mental health advocates in their communities.
Free therapy may be available for those who are sad, grieving, stressed or want to make a change in their lives. The Pro Bono Counseling Project assists families, couples and individuals. Services are available via teletherapy (video conferencing), and during the COVID-19 pandemic, telephone only therapy has been authorized in Maryland. The Pro Bono Counseling Project’s mission is to ensure that Marylanders with limited resources requesting mental health care are provided access to volunteer licensed mental health professionals and other necessary supportive services.
This three part webinar series by the Archdiocese of Washington explores personal journeys of facing mental health challenges and how our Catholic faith is a source of strength. It also addresses how counseling services can assist individuals and families, and gives resources and strategies for parishes to form mental wellness ministries.
By Adrienne Mickler, a member of the Archdiocesan Mental Wellness Workgroup and a parishioner at St. Mary’s in Annapolis.
By Dr. John Schmidt, a member of the Archdiocesan Mental Wellness Workgroup and deacon at St. Ignatius Parish in Ijamsville.
This website includes handouts, articles, webinars and a wide array of other resources to assist parishes and other Catholic institutions to become welcoming and supportive communities to those experiencing a mental illness or crisis.
The Association of Catholic Mental Health Ministers (ACMHM) is a Lay Association of the Christian Faithful whose members are called to be a healing presence in the lives of people with mental illness. Their website provides a variety of resources to parishes for building a supportive community for those suffering from a mental illness and their families.
Mental Health First Aid® Maryland is a public education national certification course designed to teach individuals, professionals, businesses, and community members the skills necessary to respond with care and genuine support to an individual experiencing a mental health or substance use concern or crisis.
A resource compiled by Kaiser Permanente to assist employers and employees in addressing issues related to returning to work after the pandemic. Chapter 3 specially addresses mental health needs.
For a full directory of the Behavioral Health Authority in each local jurisdiction in Maryland, click here.