Sabrina Saunders: Mental Health Mondays to Help the Community


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One in five Americans suffer with mental illness, and many of these individuals are not getting the treatment and support that they need. Because metal illness is an issue of shame and stigma, many people hide their condition. 

However, the church and Pastor is their primary counselor for many. According to a recent study, “African-American urban ministers functioning as pastoral counselors constitute an engaging and useful group with experiences and skills that can be tapped by interested secular professionals. Their work represents a significant mental health resource for persons who lack sufficient access to needed care.”

While Clergy are often the on the front-lines providing spiritual and emotional counseling their member's and those in the broader community they themselves are not immune to depression, addiction, and even suicide. According to the Fuller institute, 70% of pastors constantly fight depression.

The One Accord project has launched a health and wellness series Mental Health Monday's for Richmond Clergy, The purpose is to provide information and resources. The first workshop is Clergy Self-Care for Pastors the host is Pastor Harold Orr M.D of Greater El Bethel Church, and the Facilitator is Dr. Craig Adams, a clinical psychologist with extensive experience working with Pastors and Churches throughout the Bay Area. This workshop will take place Monday October 19, 2015 from 5:00 - 9:00 pm. This is a clergy-only workshop and you must RSVP to attend.

Then October 26 and November 2 there will be a Mental Health First Aid training  for Clergy the host is Pastor Charles Stewart and the church is St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church those who complete the training will be certified. The facilitator is Robert Ratner M.D. Director of Alameda County supportive housing. This workshop is full.

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