A total of 50 faith leaders from the Fox Valley gathered May 26, 2016, to learn how trauma affects mental health well into adulthood, and how they can minister effectively to those affected by trauma. Beth Clay of the N.E.W. Mental Health Connection, Paula Verrett of NAMI Fox Valley, and Doug Bisbee of Samaritan Counseling Center of the Fox Valley led the workshop.
It’s part of an effort by partners involved in the Mental Health Ministry Task Group, which is focused on helping faith communities understand, embrace and prepare for its role as “first responders” in the mental health care of its members. The task group says when people of faith struggle with their mental health, they are much more likely to share their struggle with their faith leader than with their doctor, for example. For this reason, faith leaders are well-positioned to play a part in mental health treatment, early intervention, awareness and prevention.
The workshop was made possible with grants from the Cathryn Probst Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and the Basic Needs Giving Partnership within the Community Foundation, which is supported by the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs with proceeds from its annual golf open, J. J. Keller Foundation, and other community partners.