ACU Offering Free Marriage And Family Counseling During Pandemic

Wendy Kilmer
Director of Communications and Media Relations

The Department of Marriage and Family Studies at Abilene Christian University is offering free counseling sessions for couples and families to address the stress experienced during the pandemic, thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of Abilene.

“We are concerned that rates of domestic violence, substance use, and mental health issues will rise as families endure the stress of the pandemic and that the loss of income and health insurance might prevent families from seeking help,” said Dr. Lisa Merchant, assistant professor and chair of marriage and family studies. “So we sought grant money to fund counseling for pandemic-stressed couples and families to remove the financial barrier and hopefully prevent exacerbation of these issues.”

Any couples or families facing stress from the pandemic are eligible for the counseling sessions, which will be provided by student therapists in the graduate program in marriage and family therapy. Sessions can be in person or conducted virtually via telehealth. Clients can participate in five free sessions and then may choose to continue therapy after those five. The cost for subsequent sessions will be based on a sliding scale, beginning as low as $7 per hour. 

“The Community Foundation of Abilene is pleased to support the work of ACU’s Marriage and Family Studies department,” said Michelle Parrish, grant director for the Community Foundation of Abilene. “Grant funds will support the unique mental health needs of families navigating the current COVID environment. We know this is needed now more than ever.”

For more information, call 325-674-3778 and ask about pandemic counseling.

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