Faith Leader’s Lunch
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
This gathering is a time to learn about identifying your members’ mental health needs, and how to support them to receive the help they need. Our time together will include a presentation, time to learn from peers and professionals, and to enlarge your network of faith leaders.
We will discuss four stages of support for an anxious person:
- Recognize: What are the signs and patterns of mental health disorders vs. emotional issues.
- Respond: practical tools responding to those with mental health difficulties and their families.
- Referral: building an effective resource for professional care and intervention.
- Restore: knowing the recovery process and supportive role.
The experience of anxiety is well described by the origins of its name. The Latin word “ango” means to draw close; to press tight; to squeeze, compress, throttle, or choke. Indeed, the worst experience of anxiety is a panic attack, during which a person may feel like they cannot breathe because their chest is bring compressed. It is a frightening experience, and those who see a person suffering in panic are helpless and afraid.
And then there is ordinary worry about the future or the unknown. Somewhere in between these two ends of a spectrum of anxiety, a congregant ought to be referred to a licensed counselor. This discussion will be about where that line is, how to determine it, and then what to do.
One important indicator is the caregiver’s anxiety when in the presence of the anxious person! So we will also discuss ways you can take care of yourself, and reduce the anxiety of your parishioner.
Anxiety: a (1): apprehensive uneasiness or nervousness usually over an impending or anticipated ill; a state of being anxious (2): an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physical signs (such as tension, sweating, and increased pulse rate), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one’s capacity to cope with it.