January 2016




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Mental Health Conference Benefits Union Clergy

By Ray Tetz and Beth Michaels
Photos by Alberto Valenzuela

Adventist HealthCare (AHC) based in Rockville, Md., recently teamed up with the Columbia Union Conference, the North American Division, and the Versacare Foundation for the Frontline: Mental Health Conference in Bethesda, Md. The two-day event focused on the mental health issues that clergy and ministry professionals address as they seek to create healthy environments for the personal and spiritual growth of their members.

“Clergy members are often the first to recognize emotional and mental health challenges in their congregations,” said William G. “Bill” Robertson, AHC president and CEO. “The Frontline: Mental Health conference was a unique opportunity to better equip clergy with the education, resources, and support necessary to help their congregations, and themselves, address these challenges."

Frontline presenters included Columbia Union professionals Jude Boyer-Patrick, MD, MPH, medical director for the Good Shepherd Center in Baltimore; Karl Haffner, PhD, senior pastor of the Kettering (Ohio) church; Marcos Pesquera, RPh, MPH, executive director for AHC’s Center on Health Disparities; and Robert Peach, DMin, founder and director for the Kettering Counseling Care Center of Kettering Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio.

“I was delighted that so much effort and energy and concern from church leadership was given to recognize and proactively do something to help clergy focus on themselves as human beings as well as servants of God,” said Peach, a Kettering church member.