Mental Health Ministry



May 10, 2020

On a normal day we all feel the effect of the stresses and strains of life.  But these are not normal times.  We have never seen anything like this health crisis in our lifetime and we have no experience from which to draw.  We are living in a world of sustained and prolonged stress on a global level.  The toll that can take on our psyche is enormous.  And all of this is magnified by today’s information overload as we search for something to make sense of it all.

You are not alone.  The world is experiencing this in some very similar ways.  We are all human.  And we are all surrounded by uncertainty, altered daily routines, change in sleeping or eating patterns, financial pressures, worry about loved ones getting sick, isolation and sometimes depression.  Most of us are resilient enough to survive with the help of friends, family and reaching out when and how we can.  Here are some suggestions that can help you and your family make it through:

  • Make time to talk to each other – what you are experiencing, what is happening in the world
  • Keep an open dialogue with your kids and provide them with regular, kid-friendly information
  • Make time for the outdoors; include regular exercise in your daily activities
  • Pay attention to how you are eating; eat at normal mealtimes, and sit down as a family
  • Avoid overdoing it on the news and current events; be informed but not immersed
  • Make an attempt to minimize your and your kids’ screen time
  • Reach out to others, safely but regularly; do something nice for someone
  • Make music part of your day; find a way to include laughter and humor in the day
  • Check in with once a day to remind yourself that good still exists

However, for individuals who came into this pandemic with on-going issues with depression, anxiety, or alcohol or drug abuse, it is going to be a more difficult journey.  Feelings of helplessness, depression and anxiety may increase.  Feelings of isolation may increase in a time when isolation has become the norm.  This is a time when it is especially important to remember you are not alone.  Asking for help and utilizing the resources that are out there can help you feel less alone and out of control.  And it can increase your ability to cope with your stress today and in the future.  In addition to some of the suggestions listed above:

  • Reach out to family and friends and maintain that connection
  • Check in with your doctor about options for appointments and ask what resources they could suggest
  • Contact your mental health professional; they have all arranged to conduct virtual sessions.  If you do not have one, can help connect you with one in your area
  • Contact your minister, priest, rabbi or spiritual leader for support and guidance; many churches have on-line resources you can tap in to

And are some other additional helpful resources to take note of:

And as we all remember that we are not alone, we can take comfort in the words of a time-honored prayer:

  Serenity Prayer:
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can, and
the wisdom to know the difference."

Mental Health Ministry at St. Catherine’s:

Trez Buckland, 206-930-2739,

Mission: To provide education about mental health conditions, treatment and related topics, to increase acceptance and reduce stigma related to mental health conditions and provide resources.

Resources Links:

Suicide Prevention: 1-888-273-8255

Crisis Connections: 206-4612-3222 OR 1-866-4CRISIS

NAMI Seattle: 206-783-9264

St. James Mental Health Ministry:

Nancy D. Granger, MSN, CNS-BC
Parish Mental Health Nurse

NAMI Washington: 206-783-4288

Objectives of Mental Health Ministry:

  1. Sponsor an educational forum once a month on a topic of interest. These are open to people from our parish and the wider church and community.

Sample presentation topics: Bi-polar Disorder; Natural Methods for Treating Depression; Eating Disorders; Dementia; ADHD; PTSD – Clinical Presentation; PTSD – Moral Injury, A Veteran’s Perspective; Autism – Clinical Perspective; Autism – Personal Story of the Journey of a Son and His Mother; Emotional Support and Service Animals for Mental Health Conditions; Hoarding; Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Working with the Crisis Center; NAMI Smarts for Advocacy: Speaking to Legislators; Borderline Personality Disorder and Dialectical Behavior Therapy; The Opioid Epidemic in our Community: What Families Need to Know; Mental Health First Aid; Anxiety: Learning How to Manage Life’s Stressors; Emotional Problem Solving for Adolescents; The Aging Brain and Wellness; Suicide Prevention; Sleep and Mental Health; Dual Diagnosis Treatment; Behavior and Positive Discipline: Strategies for School and Home


  1. Maintain a bulletin board in the back of the church with information about our educational forums and other resources from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Opportunities to help:

  1. Host the parish coffee hour once a month on the weekend prior to our educational forum.
  2. Help maintain the bulletin board.
  3. Help with outreach through:
  1. distribution of flyers
  2. Creation of flyers
  3. Recruiting speakers for presentations


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