Sunday, June 10 will be Mental Health Sunday at Bethel. Jane Zilk and Jean Doane are planning the worship service with a focus on mental health awareness. Mental Health Sunday is a way for congregations to begin or to continue to provide education and support to members around mental health challenges. We hope to break down the wall of silence and stigma around mental illness by speaking openly about personal experiences with such challenges. Jane and Jean led Bethel’s first Mental Health Sunday in April, 2016.
After worship on June 10, Rosemary (Rosebud) Kirwin-Alvord of National Alliance for Mental Illness Washington County (NAMI) will speak in the Fellowship Hall. Rosemary’s adult daughter has struggled with schizophrenia for many years. Rosemary has journeyed from disbelief and helplessness at the diagnosis, through study, to compassion and advocacy for both those with mental illnesses (brain disorders) and their families. She is a volunteer teacher of the Family-to-Family classes at NAMI Washington County.
People struggling with mental illness are members of our families, our community, and our congregation. We are called as followers of Christ to be informed and to help break the stigma that prevents persons with mental illness from receiving the support they need. Those coping with mental health challenges, either personally or as family members or friends of persons with brain disorders, are especially encouraged to come for both the worship service and the presentation after worship.