Arizona megachurch Christ's Church of the Valley has raised almost $2 million since November to help those suffering with mental health due to the stresses of COVID-19, lockdowns, job loss, and sociopolitical conflict.
The 12-site church first planned the "Press On" awareness and fundraising campaign for mental health back in 2019 as preparation for the upcoming election, but realized the growing need due to rising rates of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness due to the pandemic and government mandates.
"In an average year, it's probably one in five people [struggling with mental health]," church director of marketing Tyler Kurbat. "But this year it's one in two, which means that if it's not you, it's probably someone you love. We have the opportunity to lean into that and provide some support."
More than 4,000 people have donated thus far, totaling $1.98 million.
"The opportunity was to remind our congregation and also non-believers that you're seen, you're not alone, and that there's help because really there's a tremendous opportunity to de-stigmatize these topics and provide some actual hope," said Kurbat.
The church's life training pastor, Rachael Schmidt, said the funds will allow the church to cover 80% of the cost of 10 counseling sessions and 50% of the next 10 sessions for those who need it.