It's summertime and the living is easy! This is a time to take Sabbath time and practice good self care in all areas of our lives. There is a new addition to the Devotion section of the website. It is from one of my summer experiences with parasailing and is titled "Called to Move." It has a message for us all about venturing out of our comfort zone in trust and faith.
We have added short video clips to our website so you can preview some of our resources. These clips are from our DVD resource, Mental Health Mission Moments. This DVD also includes a resource guide with sermon starters, scriptures, liturgies and helpful resources and links.
There is a renewed emphasis in clergy self care. If the caregivers do not take care of themselves, they cannot be there for others. Rev. Frank Schaefer has written an article that we have put into a brochure that gives tips for how clergy can be intentional about caring for themselves and their families. This brochure is featured on our Home page. With clergy moving to new churches and the slow down of summer, this can be a good time to take steps toward self care and healthy relationships.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has become a major mental health issue as our veterans return from serving in the war. The Rand Corporation recently released a study estimating that one in five U.S. service members who served in Iraq or Afghanistan suffers from major depression or post-traumatic stress. The highest rates of PTSD were found among women and reservists. Depression and PTSD are also very high for troops suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury and other debilitating physical wounds.
We are already seeing an increase in suicide, domestic violence and divorce. We also know that many of the troops that are being redeployed with anti depressants in their packs despite that fact that they are already experiencing symptoms. Too often the ethic is to be silent about PTSD with only half of those with mental health problems seeking treatment.
We have added a downloadable article to our website on "How Faith Communities can Help Veterans and Their Families Readjust." This article was adapted by VA Chaplain David Lundell and can be found in the Resources and Links section under "Articles."
The NAMI National Convention in Orlando, Florida this June provided an opportunity for persons working in the area of spirituality and mental illness to connect and share ideas. I had the opportunity to share about Mental Health Ministries with other national leaders at the FaithNet NAMI Special Interest Workshop. I also was part of a panel with other national leaders at the FaithNet NAMI Special Interest Workshop.
Dr. Gunnar Christiansen, co-founder of FaithNet NAMI (www.faithnet.nami.org) acted as the moderator. Presenters included:
Rev. Robert (Bob) Dell, Executive Director of Pathways to Promise
Carole Wills - Founder of Faith Communities Education Project (www.congregationalrsources.org/mentalhealth.asp)
Angela Vickers, JD, Mental Health Advocator & Educator
Author of Brain Bondage: The Delay in Mental Illness Recovery
Ed Cooper - Editor of Project Dream Again Blog
Author of When Even The Devil Deserts You
Chaplain (Rev.) Craig Rennebohm, Founder of The Mental Health Chaplaincy
Author of Souls In The Hands Of A Tender God: Stories of the Search for Home and Healing on the Streets
As the world watches the athletes gather for the summer games in China, I am taken back to one of those "sacred moments" in my life. My dear friend and I were chosen to carry the torch for the 2002 Winter Olympics for our work in speaking out about my illness in my church and the community.
The Olympic theme was "Light the Fire Within." The words from the Olympic theme song resonated with my life. Have no fear when darkness falls because there's a light that shines within us all. There's a flame that burns in every heart. It's the will we have that lights the spark. Once in every lifetime, there's a chance to stand apart.
At twilight, on January 14, 2002, my friend passed the Olympic torch to me in the restored downtown San Diego area in front of the sponsoring NBC station headquarters. It was a moment I will never forget.
The Olympic spirit is a celebration of our diversity and the unique light that shines in every person. Each of us can carry our own flame by sharing our stories of hope and recovery as together we move toward the light and infinite possibilities for hope and acceptance for all of God's children.
Introducing esperanza, from the publishers of bp Magazine, a unique magazine for those living with depression and anxiety, seeking hope, understanding and support. Each issue will focus on the unique needs and wants of an estimated 40 million Americans, and so many others throughout the world, living with anxiety and depression. Esperanza means hope and I had the privilege of writing an article, "Seeds of Hope," for the inaugural issue. The text for this article has been added to the Articles section of our website. For more information on both of these publications, visit www.hopetocope.com.
Mental Health Ministries is not funded by any organization and depends on your gifts to help us continue to provide quality resources. We have a major project coming up that I will share with you in an upcoming e-Spotlight. You may want to consider becoming one of the "sponsors" for this project. You can now make a donation on our website using any credit card with PayPal.
With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt, Suffered from Depression
Have a restful summer,
Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder
Coordinator of Mental Health Ministries
6707 Monte Verde Dr.
San Diego, CA 92119