From the Executive Director:

Welcome to Catholic Charities, Diocese of Norwich. I hope you find our new website easy to navigate and informative about our services and mission. I am excited about our new site as it is reflective of many changes occurring at Catholic Charities. We are a human service organization responding to Christ's call to provide compassionate social services to eastern Connecticut for over 90 years. During these years, services have expanded from meeting basic needs, providing emergency services and assisting with adoptions to include behavioral health counseling and housing/foreclosure assistance. We continue to strive to be innovative in order to meet the needs of all people in our community, regardless of their faith or religious beliefs.

The social service landscape continues to change and be challenged by increased demands, strains on the family due to economic and social pressures, and more limited funding. During these challenging times we remain strong in our commitment to serve our neighbors in need and we are comforted through our faith in knowing that, together, we will be here to fulfill our mission. I encourage you to explore our site and see how you can help us make a difference in the lives of those we serve, whether it is through volunteering your time and talent or donating to help us continue to run one of our programs.

Please explore the site, watch our videos and come back again to see the changes we are making so we can remain a stable and reliable source of support to all the families in need throughout the diocese and eastern Connecticut.

May your life be filled with many blessings,

Jim Maffuid
Executive Director

Helping Keep
Families Together

By Jim Maffuid, LMFT
Executive Director, Catholic Charities of Norwich

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in four adults - approximately 61.5 million Americans − experiences mental illness in a given year. One in 17 − about 13.6 million − live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia major depression or bipolar disorder. Additionally, approximately 20 percent of youth ages 13 to 18 experience severe mental disorders in a given year. For ages 8 to 15, the estimate is 13 percent. Certainly these numbers are alarming and the demand on behavioral health services often exceeds the available number of providers. 

In any given year, Catholic Charities provides more than 7,500 units of service to more than 750 individuals. Clinical services are provided to people of all ages addressing issues such as depression, anxiety, domestic violence, sexual abuse, grief, behavioral problems as well as adult and adolescent substance abuse treatment. These psychiatric group, family and individual services include therapeutic interventions designed to meet a variety of family needs to improve the well-being of family members, reducing risks of crisis, abuse and neglect, with the goal of keeping families together.

When asked why she decided to work in the mental health field, Sister Elsy, who currently is completing a clinical internship at Catholic Charities, responded, “When I was in India I worked with the developmentally disabled and those suffering from mental illness. Because of their loneliness, worries, and tension, I was drawn to help them. They need someone to talk to and listen to them”.

While discussing what problems and obstacles our clients face, Dave Ketner, LPC, LADC, Supervisor of Behavioral Health Services in Catholic Charities New London office, reported, “ Clients lack resources, housing, basic needs and access to medication services as well as transportation”. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, persons living below the poverty level are nearly 2½ times more likely to have depression than those at or above the poverty level. 

Sylvia Laudette, LCSW, Supervisor of Behavioral Health Services in the Norwich office, indicates that “services are helpful as they provide solution-focused therapy, allowing people to think outside of the box. Our providers help people to learn self-care when dealing with difficult situations.” Catholic Charities Middletown office supervisor, Kim Abram, LCSW, states that “clients feel validated when they come in for therapy. Therapy helps clients walk through past and present problems.” As a trauma specialist, Kim points out that often resolving past traumas is an extremely important part of the healing process.

If you are looking for counseling services in a compassionate environment, our counselors are available at our Norwich, New London and Middletown offices. For more information, please visit our webpage,, or contact William Gilbert, Ph.D., MSW at 860-889-8346.


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