Workshops and Other Educational Efforts
The Mental Health Committee is developing a series of workshop templates to enable clergy and other church leaders to initiate conversations among their parishioners about mental illness.
The goals of this program are to:
- Provide comprehensive information about specific mental illnesses and conditions in an easy to use and approachable format for individuals with no formal or professional training in mental health issues.
- Help church leaders familiarize their parishes with accurate information about mental illness, especially those conditions that are frequently represented in the general population using language relating to everyday activities, not clinical jargon.
- Enable participants to reflect upon their beliefs and views about mental illness, and enhance their understanding of mental illness as physiological or medical conditions that often require clinical and professional treatment.
- Foster an environment for continued straightforward and open conversations about mental illness.
To date, the Mental Health Committee has:
- developed four Virginia-wide conferences. Topics were Bipolar Disorders, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and the Church and Suicide: Compassion and Response. All Episcopalians and any others were invited to these conferences.
- Provided speakers to four church adult education activities, and consulted with churches facing mental health health problems numerous times.
- The Suicide conference was made into an adult education module, available at minimal charge or free from the Diocesan Office of Communication. The module contains four speakers (including a consumer) on DVD, and an educational guide for persons conducting adult education courses.
- Two of the committee members developed and conducted a four-week adult education course at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Harrisonburg. The online references are on links in this website and on the Emmanuel Church website. These two members stand ready to assist others in similar ventures.