Arvada UMC launches 'Eliminate the Shame' campaign to shine the light on mental health

January 20, 2020
Eliminate the Shame Logo
Created by Megan Armstrong

Story and photos submitted by Rev. Megan Armstrong
Pastor, Arvada UMC, Arvada, CO

The Eliminate the Shame campaign will be a central ministry for Arvada United Methodist Church in 2020.  Throughout this year-long focus we will seek to engage a myriad of topics related to mental health.  With a commitment from our staff, community, and families to make space for these conversations, we are creating a safe place, breaking down the stigma, and helping to eliminate the shame associated with mental health. We are engaging topics with intentionality throughout the year, and setting the stage on how to approach the conversations about mental health at church.  

Each month we will create an intentional monthly engagement of a mental health topic.  We will offer a class, experience, or event every month throughout the year of 2020.  While many of these will be in our church building we will be marketing and promoting this work to our neighborhood and beyond encouraging others to join us in this invaluable work.  We will also work to connect our efforts to the work already being done in the region.  Anyone from our conference or beyond is welcome to join us.

We will also be working to increase the resources available in our church including books, pamphlets, and guides for discussions around mental health.  We will add books on these topics to our local church library.  We will research other resources that are available and offer them to our community, ie. Teen Mental Health Awareness Student Guidebook, Robbie’s Hope Adult Handbook: A Guide by Teens on How to Talk to Teens, National Suicide Hotline Phone Cards, etc. 

Thank you to the Congregational Vitality Resource Team for giving us a grant for this work which will help with our marketing and resources.  We are excited to be making space for these conversations to be had.  

Please join us as we head into 2020.  Here are our January and February events: 

Jan. 26 - 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - What is Mental Health? 
This is a place to start the conversation. Tania Henderson of Side by Side Counseling along with Rev. Amy Gearhart will lead this opening conversation.  She will be offering context and shared language for us to use.  She will also give us information on the variety of ways that we can care for ourselves and one another.  

Feb. 23 - 11:15 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.- QPR Suicide Prevention Training for Parents and Adults 
The QPR mission is to reduce suicidal behaviors and save lives by providing innovative, practical and proven suicide prevention training. The signs of crisis are all around us. We believe that quality education empowers all people, regardless of their background, to make a positive difference in the life of someone they know.