Stress and Mental Health
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. – Philippians 3.10-11
Brother Roger of Taizé, in one of his most stirring reflections, tells of a young priest who had come to the Taizé community feeling overwhelmed by ministry. In his few years in the parish, he had seen too much suffering, witnessed too much pain in the life of his people, and he had tried to hold all of that pain at bay. He came heartbroken, wondering -- if this was what ministry was supposed to look like -- how he could continue on in it, if he could continue on at all.
Today, the Call & Response blog on Faith & Leadership includes a post by Roger Parrott titled “Employee Policies are For Cowards”. His points are well taken: beware of codifying into policy — and thus universalizing – your responses to one or two personnel problems or problematic individuals. Doing so may not solve the issues at play, and may actually cause others.
The Conference Commission on Clergy Counseling and Consultation has endorsed CareNet to provide services for clergy and local church consultation, beginning in January 2010. CareNet, associated with Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, has nine centers and affiliates within the Conference. There are more than 35 certified counselors and psychotherapists on the CareNet staff, including some clergy and pastoral counselors.
Now that you've assessed your sleeping environment, let's address the sleeper.
We work hard to get children into a routine that promotes their going to sleep. Have we outgrown the need for such rituals? Maybe not. A bath, warm milk, comforting reading, and saying prayers - they can't hurt.
Those are my hopes for my own Thanksgiving, anyway. My wife and daughters and I are heading to West Virginia to visit my extended family over the Thanksgiving weekend. Weather permitting, I hope we can toss a football with the kids on my uncle's lawn, in addition to enjoying some football on TV.
Concerned about the price of health care? You're not alone. The New York Times reports that:
According to a recent survey by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (Samhsa, pronounced SAM-suh), the leading reason that people with mental health issues don’t seek treatment is cost. They fear the fees.
Here is a link about an important if somber topic, and one that is sadly familiar to parish clergy.
Greg Warner of Religion News Service has written a good article on depression and suicide among pastors. (We spotted it just yesterday in the latest issue of Christian Century but it appeared in USA Today three weeks ago, as well as in many denominational outlets.) It discusses the suicide in September of Baptist pastor David Treadway in Hickory, NC. One of the experts quoted in the piece is Steven Scoggin of CareNet, a pastoral counselor based in Winston-Salem and a friend of the Clergy Health Initiative.
At least several times a year we read that whales have run aground on a beach somewhere and died. Though groundings have happened in many places around the world, there appears to be a correlation between this sad behavior and underwater sonar testing by some nation's navy.