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!