Jan. 8, 2024
Title: "Caregivers Need Care Too: How to be a supportive neighbor, friend, and community member for someone caring for a loved one living with dementia” Click HERE for program slides
Speaker: Natalie Leary, MSW, LCSW
Social Worker, Duke Dementia Family Support Program
Family Consultant, Central NC Project C.A.R.E (Caregiver Alternatives to Running on Empty)
About the Speaker: Natalie is one of the social workers with the Duke Dementia Family Support Program. She received her master’s in social work from UNC Chapel Hill. At the Duke Dementia Family Support Program, Natalie and her team serve clients through support groups, individual consultations, supportive counseling, and home visits with North Carolina’s Project CARE.
Nov 13, 2023
Title: Bridges of Hope
Speaker: Jesslyn McCutcheon, Mental Health Advocate, Speaker, Singer-Songwriter, Corporate Buyer
About the Presentation: None of us like labels, and you certainly don’t want to be labeled by a mental health condition. This can make you feel the pain of stigma – or a sense of disgrace that makes you feel different in a negative way. Faith and spirituality can be a source of someone’s recovery from mental illness. How you are treated within the walls of a church in living with a serious mental illness is crucial to that feeling of security. If you are afraid of being misunderstood or unsupported, you might think twice about reaching out to your faith community, especially crucial at a time when health and healing are needed.
We need to recognize that stigma is real.
When a faith community pledges to be stigma free, it can make a big difference!
Speaker: Jesslyn McCutcheon, Mental Health Advocate, Speaker, Singer-Songwriter, Corporate Buyer
Bio: Graduated from the University of North Carolina Greensboro with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication/Public Relations. Jesslyn has been living with bipolar 1 disorder, a serious mental illness, for over two decades. After finding her voice, she found the courage to start advocating for others. Jesslyn currently is a member of NAMI NW Piedmont, serves as a National Helpline Specialist, actively speaks for NAMI Faithnet and NAMI IOOV (In Our Own Voice), and supports the mental health community with her Fighting Goliath support group on Facebook. Jesslyn is a member of First Baptist King where she is apart of the woman’s jail ministry and also sings on the worship praise team. Jesslyn is married to her husband and best friend Jason and they have three daughters. Isabella (16), Selah (13), and Abigail (10). They reside with their golden retriever Shandi in King, NC. Click here for a video of Jesslyn's music.
Sept 11, 2023
Trained in the scientist-practitioner model of psychology, Dr. Riddle believes it is important to apply the principles of behavioral analysis and therapy for problems of functioning in the school, home, and work environments with parents and teachers as consultants, and the patient a full partner in the therapeutic process.
“Demystification” of attention and learning issues is a significant aspect of his treatment, as well as the use of personal strengths to address challenges.
Dr. Riddle’s practice includes the use of educational planning services to students with learning and attention issues, helping students find colleges and post high school experiences that fit their individual learning styles.
Title of presentation:
Youth Mental Health 101: An Overview of Mental/Emotional Health Issues for Children and Adolescents
March 13, 2023
Speaker: Abbie Vaughn, Vice President, Admissions and Outreach
At Caramore Community our Focus in on the whole person.
All people deserve to live happy, productive lives. Caramore was founded on the principle that everyone has intrinsic value and deserves equitable access to opportunities — no matter what the past looks like.
For people with severe and persistent mental illness, certain obstacles can make maintaining stable independence more difficult. Some of the biggest hurdles include obtaining meaningful work, obtaining affording and safe housing, and connecting with services and resources in the community.
Since 1974, our programs and community offer a place where you can leave unproductive behaviors behind and develop new effective beliefs and habits. We are the only transitional program in North Carolina that doesn’t require insurance offering a comprehensive, holistic approach to address employment, housing, and community resources
Jan. 9, 2023
Topic: Club Nova: Exciting Work & New Developments!
Club Nova is a Clubhouse Model non-profit organization working with individuals living with mental illness to provide the opportunity for meaningful work and relationships. The Clubhouse Model is built around the idea of work creating a purposeful place where people are needed and wanted. The clubhouse supports members in a variety of ways with education, employment, housing, benefits, community engagement, advocacy, socialization, and much more. In return members support one another and the Clubhouse by participating in the running of the organization. The Club Nova community is excited about the completion of our new building on Main Street in Carrboro. Club Nova members now and in the future will benefit from this change of environment with the increase of open space and opportunities for welcoming more members!
Nov. 14, 2022
Topic: Our Military and Mental Health
Speaker: Amy D. Bane, Embedded Prevention Behavioral Health Capability Analyst/Acting G-10 AC/S
2d Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, United States Marine Corps
Click here for Military Mental Health program slides and speaker bio.
June 13, 2022
Speaker: Victor Armstrong, MSW, Speaker: RI International, Chief Diversity Officer
Victor Armstrong, MSW, is the Chief Diversity Officer at RI International. Prior to this role, Victor was the Chief Health Equity Officer for the NCDHHS. His previous roles include the Director of the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, Substance Abuse Services. He has over 30 years of experience in human services, primarily dedicated to building and strengthening community resources to serve historically marginalized individuals and communities. Armstrong is a nationally recognized speaker on issues regarding health equity and access to healthcare, particularly as it relates to individuals living with mental health challenges.
May 9, 2022
Topic: "Power Your Mind": One Faith Community's Response to Increased Anxiety and Depression during the Global Pandemic
Speaker: Ashley Wilson
April 11, 2022
Topic: The Continuum of Mental Health Resources Available for Our Faith Communities in Orange and Durham County
Speakers: Carol McClelland from Freedom House Recovery Center, Colleen Collins and Denene Hinton from Alliance Health
About Freedom House Recovery Center and Alliance Health
Freedom House Recovery Center is one of the few providers in North Carolina that offers a full continuum of care and offers services to children and adults regardless of ability to pay. To visit their website for more information, click here.
Alliance Health is the managed care organization who serve those who are insured by Medicaid or are uninsured. Their network of providers offers treatment and support for mental illness, substance use disorders, and intellectual/developmental disabilities. To visit their website for more information, click here.
Topic: I am who I Am Because We Are Who We Are Speaker: All voices of attendees
FCMI will look inward, seeking feedback from Connectors and Monthly Program attendees.
Topic: 5 factors that make your faith community a quality mental health support -- even without special programs
Speaker: Carlene Hill Byron, Author, Not Quite Fine: Mental Health, Faith, and Showing Up for One Another
Carlene Hill Byron is a nonprofit fundraiser and mental health advocate whose expertise includes professional work in faith communities, more than four decades of lived experience, and volunteer supports to people in time of crisis. She served as a NAMI Family to Family teacher in Wake County (8 years), is a former Board member of NAMI Durham, a former member of FCMI, and is now a volunteer chaplain in the MaineHealth hospital system. She works as Director of Development and Communications for a nonprofit supporting people with intellectual disabilities in 6 Maine counties, and was previously employed in a nonprofit supporting leadership development in more than 1,200 congregations across 60+ denominations.
Her first book, Not Quite Fine: Mental Health, Faith, and Showing Up for One Another (Herald Press, 2021) considers how faith communities can lean into their own core areas of expertise to provide the evidence-based mental health supports of meaning, belonging, purpose, value and hope to all members, not just those with mental health diagnoses.
January 10, 2022
Grcevich Program AUDIO REPLAY
Grcevich Program PowerPoint Slides
Topic: Why Faith Community Attendance is Difficult for People with Mental Illness and What Faith Communities Can Do to Help?
Speaker: Speaker: Dr. Stephen Grcevich, Physician and President of Key Ministry
Dr. Stephen Grcevich (MD, Northeast Ohio Medical University) serves as the founder and President of Key Ministry, a non-profit organization established to help churches welcome and include families of children with disabilities, with a special emphasis on inclusion of children with “hidden disabilities.” He is a child and adolescent psychiatrist who serves the primary vision caster and spokesperson for Key and plays an important role in the organization’s efforts to develop collaborations with faith community leaders, professionals, and like-minded organizations. His first book, Mental Health, and the Church, was published by Harper Collins/Zondervan in 2018.
In his professional life, Dr. Grcevich is an experienced clinician, teacher, and researcher, currently serving as Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Northeast Ohio Medical University. He has been invited to present at over 35 national and international medical conferences and is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
November 8, 2021
Topic: “Christ on the Psych Ward” – A Discussion on Mental Health, Mental Illness, and Faith
Speaker: David Finnegan-Hosey, M.Div., Writer, Speaker, Pastor, Patient
David Finnegan-Hosey is the author of Christ on the Psych Ward and Grace is a Pre-Existing Condition: Faith, Systems, and Mental Healthcare. He currently serves as the co-minister of Bon Air Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), having previously worked in a variety of campus ministry, non-profit, and congregational settings. He holds an M.Div. from Wesley Theological Seminary, a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education from the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, and a certificate in Mental Health First Aid to provide initial help to people experiencing mental health crises.
In 2011, David was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after a series of psychiatric hospitalizations. He now speaks and writes about the intersections among mental illness, mental health, and faith. David lives in Richmond, VA with his wife Leigh, their daughter Laila, and their dog Penny Lane. You can find more resources and writing at davidfinneganhosey.com or purchase books at bookshop.org/shop/davidfinneganhosey
November 9, 2020
TIME: 3:30 p.m.- 4:30 p.m.
Topic: The Saint’s Complaint: Excellence in
Religion and Mental Health
Speaker: Garry Crites, Executive Director of NAMI NC
Garry Crites is the Executive Director of NAMI North Carolina. Before coming to NAMI, Garry spent over 20 years at Duke University as a PhD student in Religion and History, as a program director at Duke Continuing Studies, and most recently, as the Director of Operations at Duke’s Talent Identification Program. An ordained minister, Garry is committed to a person-centered approach to NAMI’s mission, whether in affiliate outreach, staff relations, and especially its work among persons affected by mental illness.
December 14, 2020
FCMI Zoom Connectors' Meeting
Date: Monday, December 14, 2020
Time: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Speaker: Marion Hirsch
Topic: Mental Health Awareness and Support for Youth Groups,
Who do most teens turn to first when they are having mental health challenges? In most cases it's another teen, who may not know how to help or who to turn to for guidance. Marion will share information about a mental health awareness program for the HS youth group at The Community Church, designed to give youth the resources they need to assist a friend or know who they can confide in when they are having a mental health crisis. This program is part of a wider church effort towards destigmatizing mental illness and creating a supportive community of openness and trust. Marion will share a practical approach for building a more resilient faith community for youth.
Marion Hirsch has served as the Director of Religious Education at the Community Church of Chapel Hill since May 2000. Prior to her work in the church, she was an archivist and special collections librarian at UNC and Duke. She grew up in Charlotte, NC and has been in Chapel Hill since 1982 where she lives happily with husband Ken. She has 3 grown children, Sarah, Franklin, and James. Marion is responsible for the coordination and leadership of the congregation’s religious education and faith development programs for all ages -- children, youth and adult. She is staff support to the Children’s Ministry Team, the Youth Ministry Team, Covenant Groups and the Spiritual Exploration for Adults (SEA) Program. She also leads the congregation's UU campus ministry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
April 12, 2021
Topic: Tending the Flock: Mobilizing Your Congregation to Care
Speakers: Anne Drennan and Emily McCoy, Watts Street Baptist Ministry
Anne and Emily of Watts Street Baptist Ministry will be joining us to share on their mental health ministry: how this ministry of caring was started, the expectations of volunteers, the selection of participants, the training that is done, and the monthly reports that are shared with the ministers.
Anne Drennan was the congregational health nurse at Watts Street Baptist Church for 5 years at the end of her career; she has been a member there for 50 years. Her interests focus on helping people navigate the healthcare system, advocate for themselves, and connect with each other. “Take better care of yourself so you can help care for others.” In addition, she has 10+ years’ experience in volunteer management.
Emily McCoy's interest and passion for homebound members became acute when members of her family received very little attention from their own churches once they could no longer be active. Knowing how difficult it is for pastoral staff or deacons to regularly visit, starting a program with volunteers whose sole focus was to reach out to those who can no longer be actively involved in church life, became a focus. Emily joined Watts Street in 2004 and found her Baptist roots after having been a Presbyterian for more than 30 years.
May 10, 2021
Speaker: Jane Cooley Fruehwirth
Understanding the Relationship between Religion and Mental Health in Adolescence
Jane will discuss some of the social science research evidence on the relationship between religion and adolescent mental health, including her work on religion and adolescent depression. She will also share some recent findings on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on mental health of college students.
Jane Cooley Fruehwirth is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and an affiliate of UNC’s Carolina Population Center. She worked at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Cambridge, prior to coming to UNC. I specialize in the economics of education and social economics. Her research has considered the role school peers play in exacerbating inequality and/or improving student outcomes. She has worked on other questions in education policy, including grade retention, school accountability and the effect of teachers. More recently, she has turned her focus from achievement to tackling questions around mental health in adolescence. She has work studying the effects of religiosity on adolescent depression and more recently considered the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on anxiety and depression symptoms in college students. She lives in Hillsborough with her 2 children ages 6 and 8 and her husband, Robert Fruehwirth, who is the rector of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Hillsborough.
Sept. 13, 2021
Topic: Suicide Education and Hope for Survivors
Speaker: Larry "Bernie" Bernstein
FCMI Task Force on Suicide Prevention and the Triangle Survivors of Suicide presented a portion of "The Survivors Talk" video, which shows people who have lost a loved one to suicide, weathering tragic loss and intense grief. Larry Bernstein, Lead Facilitator of the Raleigh Support Group, spoke about the message of Hope by these Survivors and how educating ourselves about this epidemic will make a difference and save lives.
Speaker: Bernie is a licensed clinical social worker in North Carolina and a therapist in private practice at the Holly Springs Counseling Center. He works with individuals, couples, and families. He is an instructor for DBT Life Skills, and Loss and Grief classes at the Counseling Center.
Bernie is also a survivor of suicide loss. His 20-year-old son, Michael, died by suicide in 1992. After his son’s death, Bernie joined a local support group that met once a month. He volunteered to facilitate that group as he dealt with his own grief and loss. Under his leadership, Triangle Survivors of Suicide has changed to weekly meetings (one of a handful of groups in the country meeting that frequently). Contact: BernsteinLCSW@gmail.com; cell (919) 946-0112; www.TriangleSOS.org
Oct. 11, 2021
Topic: Mental Health Ministries during a Pandemic and/or How to Develop and Grow a Mental Health Ministry
Speaker: Panel of Local Faith Communities
A panel comprised of local faith community leaders will describe their mental health ministries and what they look like during a pandemic. Panelists include: