Posts tagged Mental Health Team
Mental Health Grant Update
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As I shared in July, Abiding Presence was awarded a $10,000 grant by the ELCA for a 6 month mental health ministry partnership with NAMI-Northern Virginia. As we implement our proposal, here’s a few quick updates on our goals and how we are using the grant to change lives and bring hope to our community!

Goal #1: Hire a part-time NAMI family support partner to work on-site 10 hours a week with families in navigating the mental health system. Update: We are working with NAMI to have a family support partner in place by September 15 at Abiding Presence. The family support partner will work with families in the congregation and community to provide resources and support. The grant will help support the salary of the family support partner.

Goal #2: Offer a support class for family members of those with a mental health condition at Abiding Presence. Update: We are coordinating a workshop called “Children with Challenging Behaviors” for parents. The workshop will cover handling behavioral challenges in children, regardless of a mental health diagnosis. We have 8 people from the AP Mental Health Team willing to be trained to offer the 1 day course. We are also working with NAMI to offer a “Family to Family” course in January 2020 for family members of those with a mental health condition. Grant resources will offset the costs of food and childcare for these workshops and classes.

Goal #3: Offer more events and trainings to educate, support and raise awareness in our community. Update: We are hosting a Mental Health First Aid Training for Parents, Teachers and Caregivers of Youth at Abiding Presence on Saturday, October 26th from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. We are also co-hosting a screening of “Angst,” a 1 hour documentary on anxiety in youth, on Tuesday, November 18th at 7:00 p.m. The movie is an engaging and helpful explanation of youth anxiety and how it can be managed and treated. Following the viewing, there will be a panel discussion with mental health and community experts, who will answer questions and offer resources. Grants funds will allow us to offer food as well as childcare for these events.

Stay tuned for more information and contact me or a member of the mental health team if you’d like to learn more or get involved!

A Message from our Pastor for Discipleship

After spending some time away on vacation, it is good to be back! I am extremely excited to be planning for some fantastic ministries and events this fall, including those we are implementing as part of the mental health ministry grant we just received from the ELCA. As I shared last month, that grant will allow us to more closely partner with NAMI-Northern Virginia, a local mental health organization, to make some amazing resources and events possible in our community in the coming months. 


NAMI-Northern Virginia has been our partner in mental health ministry since we began it three years ago. Our Mental Health Team is supporting them by participating in their annual walk on Saturday, September 21. We invite you to join us for a fun morning of music, activities and contests at the Tyson’s Corner Center on the Plaza and a great opportunity to help raise mental health awareness and funds for education, support, and advocacy in Northern Virginia! Plus, the Mental Health Team will have Duck Donuts and hot coffee waiting for you!

Sign up to walk with the Mental Health Team on the sign-up board in the narthex or online at: Our mental health ministry is changing lives and offering hope to so many in our community; we invite you to be a part! Consider walking with us on September 21 as well as attending a mental health team meeting (3rd Mondays at 7:00 p.m.) or joining our new mental health book club (1st Wednesdays at 5:00 p.m. starting October 2). Details are at Together, we can make a big difference and support each other and our neighbors in Christ’s love! 

Pastor Heidi

Let Me Tell You What It's Really Like
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Abiding Presence will kick off Mental Health Awareness Month with a performance of “Let Me Tell You What It’s Really Like: A conversation about living with mental illness in general and bipolar disorder in particular.” What's it like to live with bipolar disorder, a specific form of mental illness? What's it like for family, friends and coworkers of the person with that disorder? Join us for a powerful 30-minute performance, followed by a Q&A with the actors. The conversation will take place in the sanctuary. There will be no Abiding Table this Sunday.

AP's Mental Health Team hopes this Mental Health Month event will help lessen the stigma of mental illness, lead to greater understanding for everyone who deals with it, and create a sense of compassion and support for those dealing with mental health issues in our community.

If you have any questions, please contact Pastor Heidi. We hope to see you there!

Take a Mental Health First Aid Training

You know what to do when someone is bleeding or choking, but do you know what to do when they are experiencing a mental health crisis? 

Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach how to help someone who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis.

The 2-day training is led by a certified instructor with Fairfax County. Registration is $25 and includes breakfast & the course workbook.

Class size is limited so register as soon as possible at: