Cleveland Congregation Addresses Mental Health Crisis through Wellbeing Summit
By Kim Ousley
June is National PTSD Awareness Month. According to www.betterhelp.com, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common mental health condition caused by traumatic events that can impact physical and mental health. This month is dedicated to raising awareness and helping people find support for PTSD. With July comes a related observance, Minority Mental Health Month. This is now an important topic in many communities, the mental health of each person, in many churches across the nation nowadays. Recently Pastor Fabian White of the Church of God of Cleveland, Ohio, decided it was important to respond in a meaningful way to the mental health needs, as well as the spiritual needs, of those within his congregation and community.
“When I look at all that is happening,” Pastor Fabian White explained, “and we have different persons coming in with different walks of life and different exposures and alternate lifestyles outside of the church community, and the family struggles, I thought it was necessary to really address this through an event and put together a conference with speakers on the different topics of mental health. Spiritual, emotional, and mental well-being and health.”
This year they focused on trauma for this particular event, held on the 9th and 10th of June. He shared that many have stuff happening consistently and may not even know that they are being traumatized. “We want, as a church, to be conscious as not to retraumatize them,” said Pastor Fabian White, “even with the activities and how they interact with them.”
This event was to expose some of the members to some of the trauma issues and how to deal with it and not to re-traumatize themselves or other people in their life. White wanted to balance their emotional well-being and train them to utilize new and diverse ways to cope and rise above the issues they face daily in their present lives. “How do we slow down? How do we create that balance with the spiritual wellness?” asked White. “This is the first time we have done this as part of our family life ministry.”
White said they brought in professional speakers that work in various aspects of wellness and wholeness and encourage people to do more for themselves.
The main speakers were Reverend Fabian White (Spiritual Well-being), Dr. Gayle Terrell (Emotional Well-being), Dr. Tony Minor (Mental Health), and Antoine D. Moss, PhD (Financial Well-Being).
On Friday evening, he estimated around fifty people attended and on Saturday they estimated between 40 and 50 people attended. Both community and congregation attended this event. These people have dealt with much loss such as family and friends from COVID or violence in their community.
“There are persons in our community and church that we will be training further to help those who need it,” said White.
Pastor Fabian White and the Church of God of Cleveland hope to continue further events and classes to serve those in need.
Learn more about the Church of God movement at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.
Feature (top) image: advertising the Cleveland church used to promote the wellbeing summit.