Pastoral Care with Alcohol/Drug and Mental Health Issues
– A Free 8-Hour Virtual Training
Problem: Every professional in pastoral care has dealt with the frustrations of alcohol, drug and mental health issues. The pandemic has only made things worse.
What: This 8-hour virtual training will help you grow your knowledge and skills in responding to these issues.
Who: Clergy and Pastoral Care Staff
When: March 14, 16, 21 & 23, from 1-3 p.m.
Where: Online via Zoom
Sponsors: Faith Partners and The Healing Network
Faith Partners Mission: To help faith communities develop a team approach to prevention and recovery.
Purpose: To grow capacity in faith communities to respond with grace to alcohol, drug an behavioral health challenges.
Goals: To have faith communities play their full role in prevention and to reduce stigma and isolation by openly addressing alcohol, drug and behavioral health issues.
Vision: hundreds of faith communities across Nebraska that are prevention committed and recovery friendly.
Alcohol/Drug Dependence: A Casserole Disease
➢ Imagine hundreds of faith communities across Nebraska that are prevention committed and recovery friendly.
➢ Imagine people in your congregation being just as comfortable bringing casseroles to a family whose mother is in alcohol/drug treatment as one who is hospitalized for cancer.
➢ Imagine youth knowing that your congregation provides safe people to discuss their questions about drugs, alcohol and other risky behaviors.
PROBLEM: Families are hurt by alcohol and drug problems every day.
There are over 50,000 opioid deaths per year and over 85,000 from alcohol. These problems also impact faith congregations. In a recent survey of 11 Nebraska congregations, 44% of respondents said that they were currently affected by or concerned about the alcohol/drug use of someone close. Alcohol and drug problems also have a spiritual impact becoming a false god. Yet, few congregations address this issue directly and consistently.
UNIQUE APPROACH: Helps congregations to be prevention committed and recovery friendly.
➢ It builds on the strengths of the congregation by involving lay people with special expertise, lived experience, and a passion for this work.
➢ The level of clergy engagement is up to the individual.
➢ Teams network together and build bridges to prevention and recovery resources; keeping their efforts focused on their congregation’s mission.
➢ This approach cultivates a compassionate response to all alcohol/drug and mental health issues.
MODEL: Faith Partners fills in the missing pieces by providing…
1) Multiple training events to help identify team members, train them and introduce them to 6 ways they can serve in helping with alcohol/drug issues.
2) Comprehensive materials including 5 manuals for various aspects of the team’s work.
3) Long term professional support. We personally engage Teams through conversation, frequent attendance at team meetings, quarterly networking meetings and consistent written communications.
COST: Costs are minimal, and no one is turned away.
➢ Major support is from a DHHS SAMHSA Partnership for Success Grant (PFS# 79-SP08090988) through Region V Prevention Systems.
FAITH PARTNERS: Our Story
We began by working closely with the national Faith Partners organization which has over 30 years of experience in this work. They have helped 100’s of congregations from 22 faith traditions develop teams. The Nebraska Coalition began in 2018. We now have 14 teams from 6 denominations plus 4 teams forming.
OPPORTUNITY: Faith congregations could act…
➢ In the Nebraska survey, over 75% agreed that their congregation should be helping families with both prevention and recovery.
➢ When asked if they would be willing to serve, 11% endorsed the response “Yes. Sign me up” and left their names.
Members are ready and able… …but key pieces are missing.