Monday, April 30, 2018

Parish Support for Mental Health


I am pleased the Mental Health Court has received growing support at Trinity Cathedral, Davenport, Iowa. Hopefully this will continue and expand. The more I learn and the more I experience with persons involved with mental health issues and mental health illness the more I am convinced we are confronting an injustice in our society.

My previous awareness said 20 percent of the adult population have mental health issues. Now I read in the Vera French Community Center Home page, 10 per cent of children and 25 per cent of adults. Add another five per cent. That is a quarter of the population. Hazelton Treatment Center years ago said 65 % when you include chronic illness and addictions. I am saying mental illness in many situations is a chronic illness. Our daughter has been taking psychotic meds since 18 and now she is at age 50. Our son is still in the stage of getting the right medication for his situation. Perhaps even the right diagnosis although I have been told different diagnosis would not necessarily mean a different proscription on the meds.

Back to Trinity Cathedral. The Outreach Ministries now includes items for the Mental Health Court. Personal items are donated like tooth paste, tooth brushes, soap, deodorant, etc. and money for the awards container. They gave $250 initially. The Men's Bible Study raised $750 and six persons went to observe the Court in Session on Friday afternoon. Several have made comments since. One of my objectives is to have people visit a court session on Friday afternoon as an observer. I think that has more of an impact to see first hand how the court is helping people change their lives.

The Celebration of the Cathedrals 150th year involved and Faith and Healing Seminar. The proceeds went to the Mental Health Court, that amount was $2250. 

Another part is the card ministry. Matthew is receiving cards from members of the congregation. He is mentioned in the prayer list. One person has visited him at the Jackson Care Center which means a round trip of 106 miles. They plan to visit again with another person.

I will let Trinity Cathedral serve as a model for other congregations. I have started to work with St. Paul Lutheran. They have a mental health committees which will give me more ideas and possibilities. They had a workshop, the fourth of its kind, on how to respond to people with mental health issues. I want to learn more from the person who does this kind of workshop. She has a grant to do them for free.

This is for openers. I would like to somehow open this up for a continuing discussion. My expertise is limited and I don't think Google is that open. You have to somehow become a part of their system. The new tribalism. 

Now that I am into names. I will at some point address scapegoating and mental illness. There is a Gospel story that may apply. 

To be continued,

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