Council for Relationships Receives Bader Philanthropies Grant

Council for Relationships (CFR) received a two-year grant from Bader Philanthropies in the amount of $72,000 to provide services to veterans, families, and Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs). Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, CFR has seen an increased demand for counseling services among veteran families and for staff training among area VSOs. This grant will help meet the increased demands and support counseling subsidies serving low-income veteran families, as well as outreach/training to people/organizations working with veterans.

CFR is one of a few regional, community-based organizations providing counseling to veterans, active-duty service members, and their families by clinicians trained in military culture competency. CFR’s Operation Home and Healing (OHH) program provides counseling for individuals, couples, and families; training for clinicians and clergy in military culture; services to VSOs; and research.

The number of CFR’s clients who are veterans and/or veteran family members has doubled over the past five years. CFR currently partners with Headstrong in PA & NJ to provide cost-free, rapid response, stigma-free, and confidential therapy to active-duty service members, members of the National Guard and Reserves, veterans of all eras, and their spouses and children. Therapy sessions are unlimited and provided regardless of clients’ characterization of discharge or combat status.

Clients who are not eligible for Headstrong often do not have the means to fully pay for therapy. CFR had a very modest subsidy program for several years to support the counseling needs of veteran families. Demand has increased for these subsidies this year, particularly among couples seeking help for their relationship problems, a CFR area of expertise. Throughout the pandemic, many clients report mental health concerns, but economic uncertainty hinders many from seeking the support of a therapist. Common problems that CFR therapists address include relationship issues, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse issues, post-traumatic stress, and grief/loss. The Bader Philanthropies grant will provide subsidized counseling for veterans and families not covered by Headstrong.

“We are so grateful to receive this grant from the Bader Philanthropies which will be transformational to the lives of the veterans and families we serve,” said Nancy Isserman, MSW, PhD, Director of CFR’s Operation Home and Healing. “For each client there is a multiplier effect increasing the impact of therapy as their improved mental health also improves the lives of their family members.”

In addition to counseling services, CFR provides classes on military culture competency to clinicians and clergy and conducts research on effective training. This grant will allow CFR to provide two training programs per year to give other organizations a better understanding of their veteran clients and help their staff recognize when the veteran or veteran family member needs to see a therapist.

About Council for Relationships:

Council for Relationships is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help people from all walks of life improve their important relationships by providing exemplary therapy, educating and training clinicians in the family systems approach, and advancing the mental health field through research.

More than 70 therapists and psychiatrists provide counseling to individuals, couples, and families in-person at 10 offices and community-based locations in the greater Philadelphia area and online across PA & NJ. Additionally, more than 60 clinical interns per year participating in CFR’s clinician education programs provide counseling on a sliding fee scale. We are committed to providing quality counseling services to all in need, regardless of ability to pay. To learn more, visit

About Bader Philanthropies:

Milwaukee-based Bader Philanthropies, Inc. is a philanthropic leader in improving the quality of life of the diverse global communities in which it works. The organization funds innovative projects and programs, convenes partners, and shares knowledge to affect emerging issues in key areas. Since its founding in 1992 as the Helen Bader Foundation, the organization has committed more than $426 million in grants and program related investments, such as loans, loan guarantees, equity investments and other credit enhancements that advance its charitable mission. For more information on Bader Philanthropies, visit

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