Clergy and Mental Health Experts Discuss How to Solve Mental Health Challenges at NE Delta HSA Faith-Based Summit

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The Northeast Delta Human Services Authority (NE Delta HSA) Faith-Based Mental Health Summit on Saturday was well-attended by members of the clergy, mental health professionals and regional leadership. Participants engaged in dialogue to better understand how faith-based organizations can assist citizens who need mental health, addictive disorders and developmental disabilities services.

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“Mental health challenges require a collaborative effort among government, faith-based institutions, educational systems, law enforcement, the business community and healthcare systems,” said Dr. Monteic A. Sizer, NE Delta HSA Executive Director.

The Northeast Delta Human Services Authority (NE Delta HSA) Faith-Based Mental Health Summit on Saturday was well-attended by members of the clergy, mental health professionals and regional leadership. Participants engaged in dialogue to better understand how faith-based organizations can assist citizens who need mental health, addictive disorders and developmental disabilities services.

Pastors Danny and Carolyn Hunt of the H.E.A.R.T.S. Coalition assisted in Summit facilitation, which included panel discussions comprised of clergy and mental health leaders. Discussion topics included warning signs of mental illness, how to assess and manage suicide risk and how to avoid clergy burnout.

“Individual, family, community, and state challenges require a collaborative effort among government, faith-based institutions, educational systems, law enforcement, the business community and healthcare systems to positively impact the trajectory of our citizens’ lives,” said Dr. Monteic A. Sizer, NE Delta HSA Executive Director.

“I am thankful that clergy and leaders are coming together on this issue,” said State Representative Katrina Jackson. “I join with you for mental health advocacy. A number of us have been fighting for mental healthcare advocacy across the state. It is a spiritual struggle to get people the resources they need,” she said. “This is a serious issue. Only when we stand together as faith leaders are we going to break the cycle.”

Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo congratulated the Summit attendees on their involvement in the work to connect the behavioral health issues and the clergy. “Everybody here, every family has at least one person who has a challenge with mental illness,” said Mayor Mayo. “We can never get enough training on these issues.”

“Churches are typically the first organization families reach out to in a time of need. The first place they go to is their pastor or to their church,” said Ms. Hunt. “That’s why we’re talking about this today. We want to bridge the gap between the clergy and mental health professionals so we’ll know how to help.”

“Societal issues of mental & primary healthcare and substance abuse affect people of diverse race, class and religious denominational beliefs,” said Dr. Sizer. “Since Saturday’s Summit, clergy members have asked NE Delta HSA to continue this important work toward bridging the gap between mental health issues and the clergy. We will continue to catalyze these efforts to ensure our citizens have access to quality, competent mental health care delivered with excellent customer service.”

Click here to see photos from the Summit on the NE Delta HSA Facebook page.

NE Delta HSA does not promote or endorse religion, nor does it promote any particular religious viewpoint.

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About Northeast Delta Human Services Authority (Northeast Delta HSA)
Northeast Delta HSA directs the operation of community-based programs to improve the quality of life of people with major mental illness, developmental disabilities and addictive disorders. Northeast Delta HSA is devoted to deliver programs and services that encourage people to reach their true human potential.

Three tenets guide our efforts: excellent customer service, greater access to services and competent, quality care. Northeast Delta HSA serves citizens in 12 parishes of northeastern Louisiana: Caldwell, East Carroll, West Carroll, Ouachita, Lincoln, Madison, Franklin, Morehouse, Jackson, Tensas, Richland and Union. For more information, call 318-362-3270.

Media Contact:
Jill Hirsekorn
Northeast Delta HSA Public Information Director
2513 Ferrand Street, Monroe, LA 71201
Phone 318-362-5482
NE Delta HSA Press & Media
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Jill Hirsekorn
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