Tag Archives: health care

Helpful Information from WISE – Congregations for Mental Health

Coping with Depression, Anxiety, Grief and Loss

Here are a few suggestions everyone can use to better cope with the stressors associated with depression, anxiety, the loss of a loved one or with just life in general:
Practice Self-Care. Pay particular attention to your eating, sleeping and leisure, or
“down” time. Factor in “downtime” each day. While it is okay to sometimes indulge in
treats, try to balance with healthy meals. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated; limit
your use of alcohol. Excessive use of alcohol will only increase your feelings of
depression and helplessness.

Anticipate Stress. Plan an activity when things get stressful such as taking a 15-minute
walk outside. Other suggestions to think about: stargaze at night, go to your favorite
store and just look and browse, listen to soothing music, find a room or “safe space” in
your home to read a book or magazine or to just decompress. Destressing can also
include giving the gift of your time by volunteering at your place of worship, community
center, soup kitchen, animal rescue center, etc.

Spend time with supportive friends, family members: Call a supportive friend or
family member or your pastor on the phone and spend a few minutes to chat/talk. Use
electronic platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, or Zoom to reach out and connect
with others, particularly those who live far away. Contact someone you have not heard
from in a while. Use this as an opportunity to talk, catch up. Consider using this time of
the year to reach out and make new friends.

Practice Gratitude: Write a daily “gratitude list” and then offer thanks in thought,
prayer, meditation on those things you are grateful for. Use this time to affirm the good
things you have received. Use this time to acknowledge the role other people play in
providing help and support in our daily lives. Practicing daily gratitude has been shown
to improve one’s mental health.

It’s okay at times not to be ‘okay’: Feeling sad, lonely, or anxious are normal human
emotions that everyone experiences. There is time for these feeling to be present. And
there is time for giving yourself permission to take a break from these feelings.

If nothing is working, it is possible that you may be clinically depressed or anxious and may
need professional help. Talking with a mental health professional or taking a mental health
screening can help you better understand how you are coping with stress, depression, loss, grief, or anxiety, and help you get on the path to a happier and healthier life.

Feel free to contact the Mental Health Association in Forsyth County, NC at 336-768-3880 for information about depression, anxiety, and grief, and for referrals for help or information about their free support groups. You can take a free, confidential mental health screening on their website: www.triadmentalhealth.org.

Local/crisis mental health resources include the following that operate on a 24/7 basis:
Partners Health Management – 1-888-235-4673
Mobile Crisis Services (Daymark Recovery Services) – 1-866-275-9552 Old Vineyard Behavioral Health – 24/7 Assessment Line – 1-855-234-5920

For family support, family support groups, advocacy, consider the following local resource: NAMI-NW Piedmont (National Alliance on Mental Illness) – NOT 24/7 – 336-744-0370

For those who want to offer support, but are not sure what to do, consider the following: Provide empathy and support – Empathize with someone who has lost a loved one
recently or who is struggling emotionally during this time. While we cannot “fix” their
particular problems, we can offer a comforting, listening ear.

Share encouraging words on social media – Share encouraging words of hope online.
You never know – your words might be the words someone needed to read and hear. Offer words of hope during intercessory prayers at your church, synagogue, temple,
house of worship: Using words such as “depression”, “anxiety”, “grief”, “mental
health” during intercessory prayers lets people know that this is a safe place.

Proposal on Specific Actions to Emerge out of the Four Racial Equity Teams this Year


A group of about 20 Parkway people started at the beginning of this calendar year to delve into examples of systemic racial inequity in our local community, to reach out to those doing important work in addressing them, and to identify ways our congregation could act in partnership. Thank you to each of you for your participation, courage, and research. Each of the four teams – education, food access, health care, and housing have completed their Second Sunday presentations. Three of the groups have decided to no longer meet regularly, but keep an eye on ways to be supportive.

The Second Sunday Planning Team recently met after I checked in with each of the four teams. This is the proposal we share of what specific ways we at Parkway may continue to offer our energy and resources. We worked with two criteria in distilling down this proposal for continued investment. The first is to identify opportunities to build and be in relationship with others in our wider community. The second is to identify steps that are manageable and specific enough for us to make some progress. We are glad for your feedback about this proposal.

Education: This group continues to meet, especially in partnership with the Coalition for Equity in Public Education, and are preparing recommendations about the school assignment plan and watch for opportunities to advocate for more funding for pre-K education locally;

Food Access: We will continue to connect with and promote the Forsyth Community Supported Agriculture program purchasing produce from local, Black farmers in relationship with the Minister’s Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity, Rural Advancement Foundation International – USA, and Janco Farms;

Health Care: We will consider a recommendation to offer financial support from the Mission Projects line item to help with scholarships for nursing students through the Hispanic League and continued relational support for Anuli, an organization which supports pregnant women, especially women of color;
Continue to work to become a Welcoming – Informed – Supportive – Engaged congregation of the UCC with persons with mental illness and their loved ones. This includes creating a congregational covenant outlining our specific commitments;

Housing: We will work in relationship with local apartment residents, the North Carolina Congress of Latino Organizations, and the Justice Collective to get satisfactory responses from the City of Winston-Salem in regard to code violations, especially in the Old Town neighborhood. These violations include flooding, mold, and high levels of lead;

General: We will continue our discernment about participating in a process to build a multi-racial, broad-based community organizing group in our community, building on the work of the North Carolina Congress of Latino Organizations. Their goal is an initial 30 congregations, advocacy groups, and neighborhood associations, and civic groups invested in building citizen power.

We are interested in your responses, participation, and continued relationship.