Upcoming Latino Mental Health Conference offers Hope, Tools for Churches

By Joe Padilla

One of the ongoing challenges church pastors and lay-leaders face today are the mental health issues and illnesses affecting individuals and families. Why? Because research reveals that 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 5 children in a given year deal with mental illness. In addition, mental disorders are twice as frequent among the poor and low-income communities which tend to have higher risk factors for severe mental illness. Overall, about 25% of people in need of mental health support first seek help from the church before going to a mental health or medical professional.

It is confusing for church leaders because these problems are disguised as a personal problem, family crisis, divorce, financial challenges, addiction, etc. Congregants are coming to their clergy asking for spiritual guidance on these kinds of issues. The pastor has a huge heart and is willing to help but can be quickly overwhelmed, not knowing how to recognize a mental health challenge, or knowing the mental health resources for more help.

The church is a gateway to mental health needs and can have the necessary tools to respond with simple and adequate support. Thankfully, all the resources are available and can be incorporated TODAY!

The Latino Mental Health Coalition (LMHC) is a collaboration of both Christian and community mental health organizations that can make mental illness a topic and solution of living hope!

On August 13, the Latino Mental Health Coalition will be hosting a FREE conference for Latino clergy and congregants to discover new insights, the available resources, and upcoming trainings for your congregation.

The conference will consist of:

  • Free continental breakfast
  • Short Keynote presentation from someone with a mental illness and has hope
  • Workshops on suicide prevention, youth & mental health, hispanic culture perceptions and more
  • Ending with a panel discussion with church leaders addressing new mental health support

Many groups will be represented for all the resources you need to know!

Share and pass this on to many in your church and community … hope is here!

Here are the details…

Mental Health: Tools for the Church

mental health Tools for the churchThis is a FREE opportunity for practical training and networking with a focus on how local congregations can effectively support Latino individuals and families affected by mental health challenges.  Detailed agenda and list of speakers will be available soon. Please RSVP by August 7, 2016. For questions, please contact Ana Chatham at [email protected] or at (412) 855-5912. It is not necessary to print your ticket.

Saturday, August 13, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM (CDT)

Diana R. Garland School of Social Work – 811 Washington Ave, Waco, TX 76701

We are asking that you register for the Conference by going to the EventBrite RSVP site at   http://mhtoolsforthechurch.eventbrite.com

Don’t worry if you are unable to register at the site-just let Ana Chatham or Dennis Myers know that you are planning on attending. Also, if you have questions about the conference, please feel free to contact one of us.

Joe PadillaJoe Padilla is a Baylor University graduate and is a licensed and ordained minister who has extensive ministry and non-profit development work in Asia, Africa, Europe, and in the U.S. Currently, Joe is the co-Founder and CEO of Mental Health Grace Alliance an international mental health recovery support organization providing programs and training for those affected by mental illness and for clergy and community leaders. MHGA is an organization that came from Joe’s extensive research in clinical and biblical mental health views and helping his wife have long lasting mental health recovery. Joe and Dr. Matthew Stanford (neuroscience and psychology) founded in Mental Health Grace Alliance in 2010 and has grown to both a national and international impact.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected] for more information.


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