JACKSON, Miss. – Last fall Belhaven University mobilized a collaborative effort among churches to address the issue of mental health in Mississippi. So many of the challenges facing the state have a mental health component, and the church is often the first place people turn to for help.
Bridging the gap between faith, mental health and health leaders, Belhaven’s Institute for International Care and Counsel hosted over 170 pastors, mental health workers, social workers, nurses and community leaders. They explored ways to work together in advocacy, prevention, support and training.
The Mind, Body, Spirit: Connecting Faith and Wellness summit featured keynote speakers, workshops, discussions and several short, powerful talks related to health and mental health. The event specifically focused on raising awareness, reducing stigma, creating stronger relationships and building a sustainable plan for the future of mental health in Mississippi.
According to Belhaven University President Roger Parrott, the summit laid the groundwork for future training, conferences and projects. “We’re looking forward to ways in which we can work together going forward to address this critical need all across the state of Mississippi.”