Mental Health & Mental Illness @ St. Bart’s

Welcome from Fr. Jeff
     The purpose of this page is to help share information about my current D.Min project.
     As Christians, we have an opportunity to help to create a more welcoming and “safe space” for conversations about mental health, and mental illness by lifting it up as a part of the human condition. My hope is that this project will be one small step in contributing to this important conversation.
      This project is rooted in the theology of caring for creation beginning with the supposition that we are all created in the image of God and are called to care for all of God’s creation. Mental illness can be frightening, but it is part of being human. Our task is to help one another find healthy and effective ways of caring for all people.
     As Episcopalians we promise to respect the dignity of all people; fostering respectful and meaningful conversation about mental illness, and by teaching healthy and helpful ways of caring for people with mental illness is yet another way we can live into this baptismal promise.
     The first part of this project is a series of three 90-classes taught by Dr. Susan Bettis, Director of Training & Clinical Services at William Temple House.

Class Days and Times
Classes will be held at St. Bart’s at the following days and times:
Saturday Feb. 29 10 to 11:30 in the Nave
Saturday March 7 10 to 11:30 in the Nave
Saturday March 14 10 to 11:30 in the Nave
All are welcome to these classes and there is no fee.

Class Outline
Following is a brief overview of the three class sessions:
Session 1, Saturday Feb. 29
- Introductions
- Conceptual history of understanding and attributed causes of mental illness
- Eight indicators of mental health

Session 2, Saturday March 7
- “Mental illness” – what is the “mental” that is ill?
- DSM 5, how we diagnosis and why.
- Genetic predispositions/early life experiences/present-day stressors.
- The big five
     Depression/ suicide
     Anxiety disorders
     Substance use
     Schizophrenia and other psychosis
     Personality disorders

Session 3, Saturday March 14
- Treatments
- The role of the church including clergy, staff, and congregants
- What to do say, when to refer to the experts, the role and power of prayer
- Practical strategies including roleplay exercises