To: Authorized Ministers in the Connecticut Conference
For the past ten years, the Connecticut Conference, United Church of Christ, has offered a Clergy Assistance Service (CAS) as a way to connect you with supportive assistance when you face difficult personal or professional challenges. The intent of the program is to support the wellbeing of our pastors by offering confidential therapeutic resources at no cost to you. We are pleased to expand the program this year to include your spouse or partner as well. We urge you to take advantage of this valuable program. We offer it because we believe your health and your family’s wellbeing is important, and we want to help you use your gifts for ministry to the fullest possible extent.
In Christ's Name,
Through the Clergy Assistance Service evaluation, three sessions of consultation are offered to help you or your spouse/partner determine the most appropriate way to address the personal or interpersonal issues you face. For many pastors and spouses/partners, no additional work is needed beyond the three sessions. If appropriate, referral options will be presented if you wish to pursue additional therapeutic work. Names of a variety of mental health providers who participate in the UCC health insurance network will be made available. Specialized referrals also may be made to other resources.
Ronald N. Casey, Ph.D., offers the three sessions through funding provided by the Connecticut Conference Trustees for the Fund for Ministers. Dr. Casey is a psychologist in private practice who has worked extensively with clergy for the past 20 years. An active Episcopalian, Dr. Casey also has been retained by the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut to offer a similar program for priests of the Diocese.
Involvement with CAS is a very private matter. No information about the fact of your participation or the nature of your treatment will be revealed to anyone outside the immediate process, except where such disclosure may be required by law. The Conference receives quarterly reports indicating the number of individuals who have utilized the service; names are never given, and Dr. Casey and all professionals involved are governed by established standards of professional ethics regarding confidentiality.
All Authorized Ministers (Ordained, Commissioned, Licensed) who hold their credentials in an Association of the Connecticut Conference and their spouses or partners are eligible to access this service.
Dr. Casey’s answering service number is 888.637.9597. He maintains offices in Madison and Glastonbury. You may simply leave a phone message, identifying yourself as a UCC clergyperson or the spouse/partner of a UCC clergyperson and indicating that you wish to schedule an appointment. He will return your call and schedule an appointment as soon as it is mutually convenient. His mailing address is Oak Park, 147 Durham Road, Madison CT 06443.
Most of you, as parish clergy, are familiar with a network of mental health professionals in your own community; referring parishioners to such resource people is a standard part of pastoral care ministry. Occasionally, in your work with a parishioner, you may encounter a need for a specialized referral; Dr. Casey is available to you—via telephone—for a brief consultation focused on identifying appropriate referrals for your situation.