Blog Post by Rev. Thirza Sayers
Pastor Hillside Presbyterian Church, Light for the Darkness, Our Selah
Due to the isolation and anxiety caused by the pandemic and the fear, violence, and uncertainty caused by the war in Ukraine, many of us have personally experienced mental health variances in the past few years. Few of us have weathered this storm completely in a peaceful state of mind. Whether we are experiencing the variances, or our friends and family are the ones hurting, many of us would like to know what to do, how to respond, and how to help. Mental Health First Aid is a brilliant first step to becoming more aware of mental health variances and equipping yourself with resources to help.
Light for the Darkness, a New Worshiping Community and mental health ministry of Giddings-Lovejoy, is offering our annual training for Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid, thanks to the leadership and instruction of our distinguished board member, Lawson Calhoun (Elder at Westminster (STL City)). These 6-hour courses are full of helpful approaches and resources for coming alongside someone in mental health distress.
“Why Mental Health First Aid (for Adults and Youth)?
Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders (in adults and youth). It gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to the appropriate care.”
What it Covers
Common signs and symptoms of mental illness in this age group, including
• Eating disorders
• Attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD)
Common signs and symptoms of substance use
• How to interact with a child or adolescent in crisis
• How to connect the person with help
• Expanded content on trauma, addiction and self-care and the impact of social media and bullying”
⇒ The training, which is for adults to learn Youth Mental Health First Aid will be held Saturday, June 4, 9 am to 4 pm, via Zoom. Volunteers and leaders of your youth ministries, including parents, are encouraged and welcome to participate in this training. The registration deadline is Friday, May 20th.
⇒ The training for Adult Mental Health First Aid will be held Saturday, July 16th from 9 am to 4 pm via Zoom. The registration deadline is Thursday, June 30th.
Please register online and mail a check for $30 to Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy, 1001 Craig Rd Ste 170, St. Louis, MO 63146, Venmo (@janice-mcmillen), or contribute through the website, by clicking here. Please note on the check or in the online notes: MHFA Youth and/or MHFA Adult. The actual cost per training is $170 but due to grants, your cost is $30 per training.
If you have questions or are looking to connect with others experiencing mental health variances in a genuine, spiritual, and supportive way, please email Thirza@light4darkness.com. Light 4 the Darkness hosts monthly Fireside Spiritual Chats, Drum Friendsie (a drum circle), Grounded Gardening and Generosity, Cooking Courageously, and our weekly Monday night Fellowship group. (See Meetup for event details)
Rev. Thirza Sayers
Pastor Hillside Presbyterian Church
Light for the Darkness
 https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/072220_MHFA_YouthOnePager.pdf and https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Mental-Health-First-Aid-Adults-One-Pager_2019.pdf