Article and picture by Urban Alliance staff.

Charis is an Urban Alliance initiative that helps people become emotionally healthy and resilient by collaboratively increasing the impact of local care and counseling services. Through Charis, organizations in the Urban Alliance network are provided with support to increase the impact of their care and counseling services as they implement strategies to holistically help people.

On June 23, 18 people from 13 organizations engaged in Charis and the Charis counseling network gathered for a yearly meeting, where they discussed decreasing stigma and how the Church can offer hope and care to those struggling with their mental, emotional or relational health.

Acknowledging that at any given time, 1 in 5 people are struggling with a diagnosable mental illness and 100% of people struggle with their mental, emotional or relational health at some point in their lives, attendees also celebrated the positive impact that Charis has made in our local communities over the last year.

Pastor Frank Termine from Calvary Church of West Hartford shared how the meeting influenced his sermon the following week, which focused on stepping out to in service and sharing the love of Christ with those who are hurting.

“We are all called to do a variety of things. No one is indispensable in God’s kingdom, so when He asks you to do something, it’s an honor. It’s an honor that God has chosen you. God wants you to do what he’s called you to do.”

Urban Alliance also shared a model for communicating effectively about mental, emotional, or relational struggles and connecting to and offering care, along with opportunities for local care and counseling services to increase their impact in the coming year.

For more information about Charis, contact Angela Colantonio, Urban Alliance’s Director of Implementation, Health & Basic Needs Initiatives, at or 860.986.7328, or Jessica Sanderson, Urban Alliance’s Senior Director of Research & Strategy, at or 860.986.7461.