Holly Packer and Ashley Gonzales are Network’s newest hires and mental health professionals.
Photo provided by Network of Community Ministries.

Network of Community Ministries, a nonprofit that provides basic needs assistance, a mobile food pantry, a seniors’ network and stabilization programs to all 14 ZIP codes in Richardson ISD, is introducing a new program that will offer no-cost mental health services to the RISD community

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Network of Community Ministries, also known as Network, is born out of an alliance between churches and community organizations in the area. Though based in Richardson, almost 40% of neighbors served by Network come from Lake Highlands, a representative of the nonprofit said. 

Now, a partnership with the City of Richardson and the Ruth Ann Marmion Charitable Fund has enabled the nonprofit to offer no-cost mental health services including the addition of a clinical case manager to meet with neighbors, assess their needs and determine how Network can assist them and a licensed master social worker to provide free, individualized therapy. Through this program, Network will also be able to provide depression screenings, anxiety screenings and self-sufficiency survey for all neighbors that are new to Network’s services. 

On top of individualized services, Network will also host Parent Cafés, a space for support groups that need additional community and social connection. 

“It is often almost impossible for parents to find a space to talk about family and parenting without kids present,” a news release from Network of Community Ministries stated. “Parent Cafés are an opportunity for parents to discuss parenting, talk healthy parenting skills, share emotional needs and have a safe place to talk about issues and needs while children enjoy supervised, fun art projects.”

According to the Network, 3.3 million adults in Texas have a diagnosed mental health condition. And 55% of these adults do not, or cannot, receive treatment.

Those seeking assistance can submit an application online with proof of address, documentation of income and identification of all members of the household.