Mental Wellness Ministry training hopes to reach anyone with a mental health need
In 2017, South Dakota had the 6th highest suicide rate in United States - to establish an unconventional way to address mental health, the Dioceses of Rapid City is forging ahead with mental wellness ministry training.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — The Family Life Ministries at the Diocese of Rapid City recently received a multi-year grant of $87,500 from The Catholic Institute for Mental Health Ministry at the University of San Diego to better serve individuals and their caregivers who struggle with mental illness and incidence of suicide.
The Diocese of Rapid City has long offered bereavement and grief support groups, but they were worried about the limitation of the structured groups. They wanted to be able to reach out to everyone, no matter location or affiliation. The answer was a mental wellness ministry to be able to reach those who lived remotely and couldn’t make it to scheduled group times and places.
Amy Julian, Director of Family Life Ministries, says, “I love the idea of empowering the lay people to be able to minister to each other, you know that we could become that church community in a deep way, ya know, that it would give people the tools to be able to relate to people in times of crisis.”
The BeFrienders Ministry is parish based, training volunteers to reach people, anywhere, in times of crisis and address suicidal thoughts. Empowering nonprofessional people minister to each other in times of need.
Amy says, “So this training is open to anyone who feels like they want to listen to people better, who feels like they want to know what are the resources out there, how can I be a better friend, how can I be a better lay minister, really just for Joe Schmo in the pews.”
Another part of the outreach is increased long distance technology to reach people in a timely way- offering video counseling services, essentially a therapy session through your smart phone.
Amy say, “So part of the suffering is feeling like people just don’t get you and you really have no place to turn and so we are offering, hoping to offer a place that they can turn.”
Other training courses and services are offered through Catholic Social Services.
A BeFriender listens, does not give answers, but allows person to discover their inner wisdom.
“I think it’s a tremendous gift to be able to give people the power to listen attentively and to be that person that is present in a time of crisis.”
A winter workshop – mental health ministry is taking place Saturday, February 29 from 10 am-4 pm at Terra Sancta Retreat Center. The cost is $15 and includes lunch. Call Linda at 716-5214 for more information or click here.