In Your Midst
On behalf of
all the Mental Health & Wellness Ministry (MHWM) volunteers, I welcome
Our Ministry serves anyone who experiences mental illness and any
life occurrences which disrupt mental and spiritual wellness. We also strive
to support their loved ones and caregivers.
We understand that mental illness is a disease of the brain, which
does not define the person whose heart and soul is in need of love and
We understand mental illness does not discriminate; that people from all
socioeconomic classes and all walks of life are afflicted. In fact, national
statistics report that approximately one in four experience symptoms of a
serious mental illness in any given year.
began almost four years ago and is inspired by the philosophical beliefs and
practices of Reverend Craig Rennebohm, who founded the Mental Health
Chaplaincy in Seattle. Our work is rooted in his model of providing a
‘companioning presence’ – coming side-by-side with those who are struggling.
We also focus on providing information, education, resources, and support
for emotional, physical and spiritual wellness. I have enjoyed being the
director of this ministry since May 2013. I am a Psychiatric Clinical Nurse
Specialist with extensive experience serving those with mental health needs.
Our dedicated team of volunteers is a group of compassionate individuals who
are interested in supporting those with these particular concerns.
to the ‘ministry of presence’ based on the Companioning model, the Ministry
provides presentations on topics related to mental health and wellness,
evidenced based support and educational programs, and pertinent documentary
films and book presentations. Mental Health First Aid training, and other
workshops that help caregivers manage concerning behaviors of family members
and loved ones are offered regularly.
Health & Wellness Ministry is supported by parish funds and grants from the
Ferry Foundation, Order of Malta and by the generosity of other donors.
free to contact me…… I look forward to hearing from you.
Nancy D. Granger, MSN, CNS-BC
Parish Mental Health Nurse
WHAT IS MENTAL ILLNESS?
The Brain: Control Central
The brain is the body
organ that controls feelings, behaviors, and thoughts. Changes in the
brain’s activity result in changes in each of these responses. These
changes can be either short term or long term. A mental illness is a
health condition that changes a person’s thinking, feelings, or behavior
(or all three) and that causes the person distress and difficulty in
Mental illnesses, including depression, are illnesses of the brain. Like
illnesses that affect other parts of the body, mental illnesses are
diagnosed by identifying characteristic symptoms.
Could It Happen to Me?
Everyone has some risk for becoming mentally ill. Factors such as
genetics, environment, and social influences interact to increase or
decrease a person’s risk for developing a mental illness.
Most mental illnesses can be treated effectively. Treatments may include
the use of medications and psychotherapies.
In Their Own Words
Mental illnesses are diseases that affect many aspects of a person’s
life but that can be treated effectively so that the individual can
function effectively in everyday life. Learning the facts about mental
illness can dispel misconceptions.
Words can hurt
Many derogatory words and phrases are used in relation to mental
illness. However, these words maintain the stereotyped image and not the
reality about mental illness. Try not to use these words, and encourage
each other not to use them. It is more appropriate to refer to “a person
who has a mental illness” when speaking about someone.
1 in 4 adults struggle with a treatable Mental Health condition each
year – approximately 60 million people.
10% of us experience a serious Mental Illness in the course of our
14% of us suffer with alcohol dependence.
14% of us suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
1 in 4 families have someone or a family member with Mental Illness.
People who suffer with major mental illnesses such as
schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, obsessive compulsive
disorder, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and others tend to be
isolated and marginalized by society. The stigma associated with
mental illness still persists despite scientific advancements and new
medications that can help those with these brain diseases. Most major mental
illnesses are treatable diseases through the right use of professional help,
medication, and community support.
The Mental Health Ministry will aid in creating environments where
persons with mental illness feel welcomed and supported within our Faith
The Church and this Ministry can be a formal entry point and linkage to
established systems of Mental Health Care.
The Mental Health Ministry will do everything possible to meet the
basic needs of the Mentally Ill and their families.
In touching the lives in this way, we come closest to imitating Jesus’
own example, which should be always before our eyes. (Lk 4:17-19, 21)
The Mental Health & Wellness Ministry will create a community supporting growth
and wholeness and circles of care surrounding those in need.
We can work to assure that no one is alone on this journey through
healing and recovery
MHWM Volunteer chats with Gallagher Center Guest
CREATIVE ARTS WORKSHOP
– 2nd and 4th Thursdays, Noon-2:00pm. Let your creative juices flow as you
paint, draw and craft projects. Facilitator, Gilda Kabbani, is a Mental
Health Ministry volunteer with artistic experience and training. No
GALLAGHER CENTER RESOURCE ROOM
- The Parish Mental Health Nurse and mhwm volunteers welcome you to
drop by the Gallagher Center Sundays from 9:30 am – 1:30 pm. Feel free
to browse through literature on mental health, talk with a volunteer, learn
about the ministry, obtain resources, develop supportive relationships with
others. All are welcome!
MINDFUL ALTERNATIVES SUPPORT GROUP
support group for family members of adult children with mental illness.
Meets on the last Saturday of each month in Gallagher Center at 3:30pm. This
group has the very specific focus of helping family members who suffer from
a disabling mental illness and who are already active in their own recovery
find better resources to further their healing. For more information, please
contact Terry at
“THE COUNSELOR IS IN”
Health Counselors, Emily Fell, LICSW and Dwayne Stone, LMHC,
are available to meet for brief
problem solving sessions after Sunday masses.
HOSPITALITY GROUPS – Monthly social and support gatherings at Cabrini Senior Housing
and Chancery Apartments
DINNER AND COFFEE HOUR COMPANION MINISTRY –
‘Ministry of Presence’ is provided to weekday guests of The
Cathedral Kitchen and Sunday Coffee Hour Guests
MASS COMPANION MINISTRY – ‘Ministry of Presence’ offered during masses
SUPPORT VISITS –
RN and/ or MHWM volunteers are able to visit with you in office, at
home, in hospital or by phone
CHECK BULLETIN FOR UPDATES AND
PRAYER PARTNERS –Don’t
be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with
thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Phil 4:6).
We are a branch of the Mental Health Ministry devoted to praying for
those living with mental illness – either in themselves, a loved one, or someone
they care for. We help support the Mental Health Ministry by responding to
special requests and needs that sometimes can only be answered with prayers. We
intercede for them in the name of Jesus, confident that God will grant them the
healing and grace they need.
If you would like to request prayers for yourself, a loved one, or someone
you care for, please click here.
If you have experience or a particular interest in the field of mental
health and are interested in becoming a Mental Health Ministry Volunteer contact
Nancy Granger, Parish Mental Health Nurse Some of the volunteer opportunities
available are listed below.
– 4 types
- We are a branch of the Mental Health & Wellness Ministry devoted to praying for
those living with mental illness – either in themselves, a loved one, or
someone they care for.
Click here for the
– Visiting clients in the home supporting mental health issues or
emotional distress – addressing loneliness and isolation as example.
– Calling from ministry office to client home – support and
encouragement in dealing with mental health issues and emotional
– related to special events,
programs, printing, information packets, etc.
– Assisting with set-up/take-down, welcoming, hospitality.
Other Opportunities –
Utilize personal skills,
talents and passions
to create unique volunteer
positions within in the ministry
WHAT SHOULD I DO IN A MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS?
Call 911 for police assistance if the situation is life
threatening or if it looks like someone may get hurt.
Ifthere is no immediate physical danger, call the Crisis Clinic
at 206-461-3222 or 1-866-427-4747.
Resources for Faith Communities
National Catholic Partnership on Disability–
Dedicated to ensuring meaningful
participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of the life of the
church and society.
FaithNet NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) has been supporting
persons afflicted with mental illness and their families in their search for
FaithNet helps to
educate clergy and congregations about the nature of brain disorders,
fosters an understanding of spirituality in the recovery process, and
encourages faith communities to participate in care and advocacy.
Pathways to Promise
is an interfaith technical assistance and resource center that offers
liturgical and educational materials, program models, and networking
information to promote a caring ministry to people with mental illness and
Mental Health Ministries (mhwm), based in Southern
California, has a national reach in its mission of producing high-quality
resources to reduce the stigma of mental illness in our faith communities.
St. Dymphna of Gheel
Patron Saint of those suffering with mental illness
Many people know St. Dymphna of Gheel as the patroness of people
struggling with mental illness. Few seem to know her background or why
she is named such. There are various legends surrounding the story of
Dymphna, but the core narrative is this: She was the daughter of a
pagan chieftain in Ireland in the 7th Century. Her mother, who had
been a Christian and had baptized Dymphna, died when her daughter was 14.
Her father was devastated and had a long period of protracted grief.
After a fruitless search for a second wife, his attention fell on Dymphna.
Her resemblance to his beloved dead wife, coupled with his emotional and
mental struggle after his wife’s death, drove him to entreat her to marry
him herself. Horrified, Dymphna fled with her confessor, an elderly
priest by the name of Gerebran, to the city of Gheel in Belgium.
Unfortunately, her father pursued her and found her. His men murdered
Gerebran and then, when Dymphna refused to go with him, he beheaded her.
Dymphna’s refusal to participate in this incestuous relationship led to her
martyrdom. She has been named patroness of people with mental and
emotional difficulties – not only because of the toll that her father’s
mental illness took on her family but because of her own emotional and
mental anguish. Dymphna was buried in Gheel. When her body was
discovered in the 13th century, cures and miracles were being attributed to
her, especially for people with epilepsy and people with mental illness.
But the most outstanding miracle is one that began centuries ago and still
continues to this day. In the 13th century, an institution was built
in Gheel where people with mental illness are admitted for a short time.
Following the initial treatment, these patients are then placed with
families in the village with whom they live and work side by side. The
patients receive treatment without formality and gain greatly by the normal
lifestyle offered to them by the villagers. The villagers see them as
a part of their lives and have for centuries. In the context of
institutionalization, deinstitutionalization, and reinstitutionalization (in
prisons) in our country, this truly is miraculous. All of this is
attributed to a simple young princess who lost her life in defense of doing
the right thing. St. Dymphna is a legend and a model and has left a
legacy for care and treatment of people with mental illness that defies the
“wisdom” and sophistication of our own time.
Prayer for Inclusion
Creator God, we are your people.
look to the future with optimism and with faith in you,
As we pursue our
call to provide justice and fullness of life
For all people with mental
We pray that every man, woman and child
May develop their
potential And meet you
In themselves and in one another.
May we enjoy
a totally welcoming community,
With you as our center, Joined hand in
hand with our sisters and brothers.
We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Based on the
Pastoral Statement of US Catholic Bishops on People with Disabilities –
NCPD Council (National Catholic Partnership on Disability)
804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98104
Phone 206.622.3559 Fax 206.622.5303