Mini Grant SenseMaker Project Story or Micro-Narrative
October 10 is World Mental Health Day each year and this year New Song Church hosted the first Mental Health & The Church Conference in partnership with Palm Beach Atlantic University School of Education & Behavioral Studies.New Song Church was proud to receive $2000 for the 2020 HN granting term. We used those funds as part of the Mental Health and the Church Virtual Conference which was held from 9-4 pm with an after party at 7:30 pm. The conference had 50 people registered (13 of those were youth). The goal of the conference was connecting spirituality and mental health care for diverse communities. This conference was unique in that it also included giving a scholarship of $1,000 to a local Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) Student studying Mental Health Counseling as well as 20 sessions of free counseling to community residents (Covered by the other $1000 from grant $1000). This year Valery Hildago was selected as the scholarship winner. She has a 4.0 GPA at PBA and is eager to support communities of color in mental health counseling. Coach Debbie serves as our Mental Health ministry Leader and coordinated the New Song Mental Health & The Church Conference to shine a light on soul care, resiliency, social justice, suicide prevention, youth services, eating disorders, human trafficking, and emotional health during COVID-19.Debbie leads our ministry where she presents Training & Professional Development opportunities for Churches and Counselors on building mental health awareness, provides low cost and free clinical counseling, navigation and/or referrals services to the community, and lastly, provides support groups such as our YouMoms partnership or Substance Abuse partnership. YouMoms helps mentor teen moms and the substance abuse partnership partners professional men to mentor young men in recovery. The HN grant funds helped provide 20 free sessions to local women. To share a few of their stories within confidentially, one lost their son due to gun violence, one lost their job due to COVID, and one is a single mother who needs parenting coaching and counseling. We provided seamless access to care without a delay in time for service. Thank you HN for an incredible grant experience, your support helped us reach our goal to help the community improve behavioral health and wellness!