Luther College is one of only four higher education institutions in the nation to receive a $10,000 Mental Health Ministry grant from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The goal of this grant is to address stigmas, grow awareness and teach the community how to support those in need and that's exactly what Meg Hammes, Luther's director of Counseling Services, plans to do.
"We are very excited to be able to expand services to students and increase awareness/ prevention while also having a broader impact on the Luther and Decorah communities," said Hammes.
Hammes and her team in Counseling Services will use the money to expand services across campus with emphasis on education and peer support with the creation of a NAMI Luther chapter.
The impact of this grant will also be seen in the Decorah community in the form of mental health first-aid trainings, access to eye-opening lectures and Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) trainings that equip community members with the knowledge and skills to help someone experiencing thoughts of suicide.
"Having a community be aware of signs and warning signs regarding suicide or other mental health crisis is important so we can be a responsive community and one that demonstrates that people care for one another," said Hammes. "The impacts of this training are long-lasting."
If you are interested in hosting QPR training for your community group or congregation contact email@example.com or call 563-387-1357.
Everyone is also invited to two events happening this fall surrounding mental health.
"Here's My Story: My Experiences with Sexual Assault" is a panel discussion where people will share their stories of struggle and recovery. It is happening at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 16 in the Center for Faith and Life Recital Hall.
In November, Kevin Hines presents, "Suicide: The Ripple Effect." Hines is an award-winning global speaker, best-selling author, documentary filmmaker and suicide prevention and mental health advocate who has reached millions with his story of an unlikely survival and his strong will to live. He is speaking at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, in Valders, room 206.
Both events are open to the public with no charge for admission.