Big Idea: Resist Going Back to Normal
People across a spectrum of professions have been spending time exploring what lessons the pandemic has taught us. I was recently sitting in a room discussing this very topic with others working in the area of faith and disability. In response to the question of what we’ve each learned over the last two years, one person offered this insight: resist going back to normal. While there is a natural tendency to rewind the clock to our previous version of normal, doing so robs us of some well-earned insights at the intersection of faith and mental health. Within the faith community the pandemic led to new podcasts, books and conferences addressing how congregations can better engage the topic of mental health. Conversely, within the mental health field there have emerged new trainings, models of care and collaborative networks highlighting the value of spirituality and faith communities in people’s lives. So, while pandemic fatigue leaves us longing for the normal that was before it, our communities are best helped by living out the lessons we discovered by going through it.
Dave Eckert, M.Div., CPRP
Below are resources for the purpose of wellness, education, and service.
"Addiction Impacts Us All"
Montgomery County Multi-Faith Coalition Invites you to a virtual program – “Addiction Impacts Us All”. The opioid crisis, substance use and addiction has wreaked havoc in our county, destroying lives of individuals and families in our community. Addiction does not discriminate – whether you are young or old, a student or parent, wealthy or poor, this epidemic continues to touch all corners of our country and community.
The focus of this event is to help participants increase their knowledge of how to support those with Substance Use Disorders. Through both panel discussion and presentations, resources will be shared to help congregations and community members around substance use prevention, education and support. We hope you can join us for this important event addressing matters at the Intersection of faith and substance use.
Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2022
Time: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Location: This program will be done virtually via Zoom platform
Registration is required.
Faith & Mental Health Summit
How does our mental health affect us as individuals? What about its impact on communities? What are challenges in talking about, and taking care of the mental health of ourselves, children, and families? How can we do better? Let’s talk about it!
Date: Saturday, April 30th, 2022
Time: 8:00AM - 12:00PM
Location: Upper Perkiomen Community Church
258 Main Street, East Greenville, PA 18041
"Better Together" Training Series
Faith-based leaders are often the first point of contact when individuals and families face mental health problems or traumatic events. When leaders know how to respond, they become significant assets to the overall behavioral health system. The Central East Mental Health Technology Transfer Center, in association with Access Services, invites this community to join Better Together: How Faith Communities, Mental Health Providers and Government Can Collaborate to Promote Wellness.
This eight-week virtual training will educate participants about various evidence-based recovery oriented techniques for enhancing collaboration amongst faith-based leaders, congregants, and behavioral health professionals. The overall goal is for them to improve their skills and knowledge in developing community-based partnerships that will connect with and support individuals living with mental illness.
All sessions are 60 minutes and will take place from 12:00-1:00pm ET on Wednesdays beginning April 13, 2022.
Looking for a way to help those in your community?
Intersect: Community Needs Facebook Group
This Facebook group functions as a care portal for faith communities who are looking to meet local needs in Bucks and Montgomery Counties. We will post needs specific to the individuals supported by Access Services. These may include needs for relational support, material resources, and/or monetary donations. We encourage you to share this page with your family and friends. While we started this page to provide concrete service opportunities to local faith communities, we encourage any community members who are interested in giving back to join!
Become a Foster Parent
You can help a child make memories for a lifetime. There are many children and teens in your community who need people like you to open your heart and give them a safe, loving place to call home. Foster parents can make a difference in a child’s life by setting a good example and providing the time, care, and attention that every child deserves.
Become a Lifesharing Provider
By becoming a Lifesharing Provider, you will have the opportunity to open your home and share your life with an adult with an intellectual disability. Your support and assistance will enrich an individual’s life by affording them the opportunity to become a fully participating member of their community and empowering them to reach for and achieve their goals and aspirations.
- What lessons has your organization or faith community learned through the pandemic that will be valuable to life beyond it?
- How can you resist going back to normal and grow from what you have learned in this time?
Do you have something to contribute or a question to ask?
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