May is Mental Health Awareness Month

News May 16, 2022

Our parish is lucky to have a mental health ministry.  In this Mental Health Awareness month, PAX would like to share the following information.  

All of our parishes have family members suffering from the challenge of mental illness, and despite modern understanding of mental illness, many suffer additionally from stigma.  Their pain is often felt in silence, hidden and unrecognized by others.  For many people, mental illness represents an ongoing and lifelong burden. 

Christ calls us to attend to all those who suffer, including those suffering from mental illness . . . We can help to bear their burdens by offering our understanding, prayers, and tangible resources.  No one should be isolated and alone.  We must meet people where they are.

The good news about mental illness is that recovery is possible.  We know that Jesus’ ministry was one of hope and of healing; His Church must also offer hope and healing, by using available resources to help those in need.  —  Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone

What You Can Do to Help

  • Use person-first language:  A person has a diagnosis of schizophrenia, they are not “a schizophrenic".
  • Create a welcoming and safe space for loved ones to talk about their mental health.
  • Pray for those suffering with mental illness.

Important Facts

  • 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 6 youth will experience a mental health condition this year in the U.S.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10–34.

National Resources

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  1-800-273-8255 OR 1-800-784-2433
    ○ Talk online at suicidepreventionlifeline.org
    ○ Crisis Text Line:  Text START to 741-741​
  • Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio:  1-888-628-9454
  • Options for Deaf & Hard of Hearing:  1-800-799-4889
  • SAMHSA National Helpline:  1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  • Teen Help Line:​  Open every night 9pm to 1am EST (310) 855-4673 OR 1-800-852-8336
    ○ Text TEEN to 839863

Boston Area Resources

  • Boston Emergency Services Team (BEST):  1-800-981-4357
  • Samaritans Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  1-877-870-4673
  • Boston Area Rape Crisis Center:  1-800-841-8371
  • Peer Support Helpline:  1-877-PEERLNE

Programming and Support at St. Mary’s

  • Monthly Mental Health Discussion Group on Mondays 6-7pm in the lower church sacristy.  All are welcome.  Light refreshments served.  See bulletin and website events listing for next meeting date.
  • PAX is sponsoring a Mental Health First Aid Certificate Training in August, exact date TBD. This hybrid training will include a self-paced component and 1-day in-person training.  If you are interested, please contact Emily at [email protected]. Spots are limited.
  • We are compiling a library of resources including books, videos, and free trainings for parishioners interested in learning more about mental health.  Please stay tuned for details and availability. 

For a PDF of this page to download and/or print, click here.