Our impact

CHALLENGES WOMEN FACE TODAY

%
of caregivers are women
%
of single parents are moms
%
of moms face major postpartum depression

“I have seen enormous damage done to women because of the emphasis placed on responsibility for pathology that they did not in fact have, when the origin of the problem was really in the social world around them.”

Dr. Teresa Bernandez
Former psychiatrist and Michigan State University faculty member, 1980

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We help women, older teens, men, and transgender individuals to:

  • recognize and get out of abusive situations
  • alleviate isolation and develop a circle of support
  • stop second-generation effects of trauma
  • succeed in school (over one-fifth of the clients we serve are students)
  • survive emotionally and financially and protect themselves and their families when a long-term relationship ends
  • co-parent through divorce
  • build their resumés and self-esteem to return to employment and stability
  • overall, in a year our nonprofit saw a 50% drop in the reporting of serious anxiety and depression among personal counseling clients.

Whom we served last year:

  • 610 people participated in over 7,000 hours of counseling.
  • 139 sessions of affordable job coaching and financial counseling enabled women to better provide for themselves and their families.
  • 52 sessions of divorce education and support helped women through the loss of a long-term relationship
  • 757 people found critical community resources they needed
  • 9% men and 5% gender-fluid individuals felt safe and welcomed here for therapy.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS

"My counselor was always very understanding of what I needed and always knew what to say. It was also helpful that we’re both trans and have had similar experiences. She was great.”
“My therapist has given me so many tools and has really made me feel hopeful that I can overcome my struggles and have a good life."
“I felt completely safe, seen, and heard. I’m continuing my journey of healing with absolute gratitude.”
"I don’t think I would have been able to find such a good fit within my budget without insurance if it weren’t for The Women’s Center.”
“The service is invaluable to single mothers like me, who often don’t have a strong adult presence in day-to-day life to confide in.”
“Going Solo helped give me strength when I didn’t know I had strength.”

More tangibles of our impact

59% of Women's Center counseling clients are supporting themselves and/or their children; 27% of these have young children.

Our counseling clients are about twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts than other Washtenaw County women and 9 times more likely than men. At the end of counseling last year, the percentage of Women’s Center clients who were severely anxious/depressed was less than half than when they started.

A majority of clients also improved on other dimensions – “greater confidence,” “feeling more in control of my life,” and “better able to deal with life’s challenges.”

Our therapists help clients address the impact of systemic inequities (such as unequal pay, racial discrimination, caregiving responsibilities, undocumented status, legal and financial consequences of divorce, coercive relationships) on their emotional, financial, and physical health.

Real life stories

Helping women change their lives

Getting through a major life crisis

Hear from Ann Arbor resident Susan interviewed in 2013. After a major life crisis, Susan benefited from 33 hours of personal counseling, 12 hours of group instruction on finances and family law, and 7 hours of individualized job coaching at The Women’s Center.

Amy practices self-care and self-compassion to relieve depression

Amy is a young married professional from Ann Arbor, struggling with depression and anxiety. After the death of her father, Amy found herself suddenly responsible for her mother, who has a disability, and who continues to relate to her in ways that Amy found overwhelming as a child.

As a first generation Asian-American, she is caught between her duty as a Chinese daughter and her desire to set more American-type boundaries around her work, partner-relationships, and responsibility for an aging parent. She is also looking for another job with fewer hours and the ability to work from home, so that she can balance competing priorities.

Over the course of 11 months, Amy benefited from 19 hours of personal counseling and 3 hours of individualized Job Coaching at The Women’s Center.

Amy reports that she is still looking for a job that can better accommodate her caregiving responsibilities and lower the cost of childcare. Her ability to address her depression and anxiety has improved. “My therapist helped me with self-care and to identify and accept my emotions before they spiral out of control.”

She is using many of the skills she practiced in therapy — assertiveness, emotional containment, and mindfulness.

“I am taking a cue from my three-year-old,” Amy says, “who is open and direct about what she wants and what she feels without being shamed for it.”

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Your contribution helps someone who is facing a critical life challenge to get support.

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