St. Mark’s Methodist Church seminar to address mental wellness

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By Amanda Foust

A year-long initiative by the Women’s Group at St. Mark’s Methodist Church is addressing mental health issues within the congregation and the community through a Mental Wellness Seminar on April 16.

“The primary goal of the seminar is to create an atmosphere within the congregation and the community where people will feel safe discussing mental health concerns,” said Gail Lee, St. Mark’s Women’s Group president.

Many families are wrecked by depression, anxiety and addiction and are unable to break free without support and resources.

“We want to provide the congregation and community with resources when dealing with mental health issues for themselves or for loved ones,” Lee said.

The seminar will include several accomplished guest speakers. Dr. Lynn Shaw will lead a presentation called “Laughter for Life,” which will provide a positive take on mental health. The impact of addiction within families will be addressed by addiction therapist Jeanne Carter, and Dr. Joan Lafuze will give her scientific perspective on mental health issues. Attorney Marianne Halbert will acquaint attendees with the National Alliance on Mental Illness resources.

St. Mark’s has also created a newsletter to include mental health articles, welcomed guest speaker Det. Bill Haymaker from the Carmel Police Dept. to give a mental health presentation from a first responder’s perspective and has hosted a Grief Share support group for people facing loss.

“If people are dealing with mental health issues for themselves or for their family, they are not alone, and it is OK to have a conversation about these issues,” Lee said.

 Mental Wellness Seminar

When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 16

Where: St. Mark’s Methodist Church, 4780 E. 126th St., Carmel

Cost: No cost, but pre-registration is required.

More info: Contact umw@stmarkscarmel.org. Light refreshments will be served. The Carmel Marathon is happening the morning of the seminar, so attendees may want to plan extra travel time.

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