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Mental Health First Aid training, Friday, February 3 or Saturday, February 4, 2017.
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We are inviting you to save the date for one of two upcoming
Most of us would know how to help if we saw someone having a heart attack—we’d start CPR, or at the very least, call 9-1-1. But too few of us would know how to respond if we saw someone having a panic attack or if we were concerned that a friend or co-worker might be showing signs of alcoholism.
Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. 

 Nationwide, thousands are being trained in Mental Health First Aid, including:

  • Church and community workers

  • Teachers

  • Health Professionals

  • First Responders
  • College students and leaders
  • All who desire more skills in helping people in need

These are one-day, 8 hour trainings leading to a certificate in Mental Health First Aid. 

  • Dates are Friday, February 3 or Saturday, February 4.

  • You only need to attend one of these days to be certified.

  • The cost is $20 which covers materials, lunch and breaks.

  • This training will take place at the Dr. Billy Kim International Center at Belhaven University located at
    1500 Peachtree St. Jackson, MS 39202

  • The course will be led by Dr. Brad Smith, a licensed psychologist and Mental Health First Aid instructor. 

To preregister you or your group, please email institute@belhaven.edu or call 601-968-8916.

Here is some more information about Mental Health First Aid:

What Is Mental Health First Aid?
The training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.
Why It Matters:

  • Because sometimes PEOPLE DON’T KNOW HOW TO ASK FOR HELP.


  • Because we can all be MORE AWARE AND MORE INFORMED.

Mental Health First Aid takes the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use problems by improving understanding and providing an action plan that teaches people to safely and responsibly identify and address a potential mental illness or substance use disorder.

For further information, feel free to call or email Dr. Smith at the contact information listed above. 

We look forward to seeing you in February!



Our mailing address is:
1500 Peachtree St. 
Campus Box 615
Jackson, MS 39202

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Belhaven Institute for International Care and Counsel · 1500 Peachtree St. · Jackson, MS 39202 · USA

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Health Ministry

The Office of Parish Health Ministry assists individual parishes to establish their own health ministries through the efforts of parish nurses and other volunteers, and may be able to help individuals find resources to medical or social needs that are not easily addressed.

Contact: Parish Health Ministry Office

Ann Elizabeth Kaiser - Program Specialist
Ph: 601-213-6378


Uniting wellness of mind, body, spirit

By Maureen Smith
A Catholic Charities ministry has been working with the Mississippi Department of Health and the Mississippi-Louisiana chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to spread a faith community nursing program across the Diocese of Jackson. Catholic Charities used a grant from both organizations to pay to train faith community nurses near Natchez and Brookhaven this year. In return, the nurses hosted cancer awareness and healthy living presentations at parishes and churches in their areas, but that was just the beginning.

NATCHEZ – Holy Family parishioners meet with Faith Community Nurse Cathy Dale to talk about cervical cancer awareness. Dale is one of a number of nurses across the diocese trained to bring a holistic approach to health and wellness to parishes and communities. (Photo submitted by Cathy Dale)

At Natchez Holy Family Parish, a group began to gather after the 8 a.m. Sunday Mass to hear Cathy Dale and Irma Moore speak about different kinds of cancer, healthy eating and more. Dale says the group continues to meet and share regularly.

Faith community nursing is not a strictly medical enterprise. “When I went to nursing school there was an emphasis on ‘wholistics,’ with a w, nursing – mind, body, soul,” said Dale. She and nurse Alice Methvein, who is a faith community nurse in Brookhaven, both explained that the program is an effort to bring back that holistic approach.
While some faith community nurses may provide services such as blood pressure checks, they are really there to minister to the community in a different way. “We make it easier for a patient to find out where to go. We are not supposed to be diagnostic or invasive, but we can be a resource and offer referrals,” said Methvein.

Ann Elizabeth Kaiser, who heads the Office of Health Ministry for Catholic Charities is the one who brought the program to the diocese. Her office is funded through a grant from the St. Dominic Health Foundation.
Each of the faith community nurses went through four days of training through the International Parish Nurse Resource Center. They learned about models for healthy living and how to introduce them into their faith communities.

Dale said this practice harkens back to when nurses were able to really connect with patients about everything going on in their lives. “When I went into home health there was a considerable amount of teaching that went on. You got the opportunity to tell patients that their outlook on life is important, and their relationship with their doctors are important,” said Methvein. She said that kind of education and one-on-one contact can help both doctors and patients.  She and her group started last summer and are working with their parish to strengthen and expand their ministry.

Methvein has started working with the youth group in her parish because she wants the young people to know who she is and that they can use her as a resource. Healthy living should start early in life and includes learning how to deal with stress and other issues young adults are facing. She said she likes to sit in the back of the church so she can see everyone. Sometimes just being aware of the people around you will provide clues about someone who is going through a tough time.

Dale agreed. She said just getting to know a group will sometimes help someone open up about a worry. “Especially in an aging population so often symptoms sneak in, ‘so what’s a little fatigue?’ they might think. You have to ask, ‘how much fatigue, is it stopping you from your normal activities, things like that,” she explained. Seeing people week after week might also prompt a nurse to notice a change in someone and encourage them to seek the help they might not realize they can get.

“We went to the (training) program and we got inspired. We have a number of programs we want to implement,” Methvein explained. She said a breast cancer seminar was well attended and a prostate cancer presentation was so good, the men asked to have it again so they could get more people to attend.

Kaiser said many parishes have the seeds of faith community nursing without even realizing it. They may have a walking group, an exercise class or a support group who are talking about the health of a whole person. Nurses trained through this program are not meant to replace these ministries, but can integrate them into a model for overall healthy living and strengthen them. “Holistic encompasses the whole person. When individuals become stronger within the congregation it makes stronger communities,” she said.
Kaiser and a handful of the other nurses in the program are now trained as faith community nursing instructors. They plan to offer training for new groups in July. Any parish or nurse interested in attending should contact Ann Elizabeth Kaiser at

 More than 60 Attend Diocese of Jackson's
Office of Health Ministry Event

 This article by Maureen Smith originally appeared in the March 2014 issue of Mississippi Catholic.