On Saturday, February 27th, our church had the privilege of using our building to host a community event for the town of Gilbert on the topic of Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse with many important community leaders participating.
Deborah Geesling and Liz Beck, members of our church, were closely involved in the putting on of this event and sent us the following info/recap:
The Behavioral Health Substance Use topic was identified in a 2015 Gilbert Community Needs Assessment as a top priority for faith group, education, government and community leaders to discuss and try and make improvements. Last November, a Gilbert BHSU Task Force was organized. Based on their efforts of the last few months, the Task Force shared findings and recommendations with our community.
This educational clinic sought to help these Resources better assist those with mental health and substance use challenges. Participants heard from trained professionals from the Gilbert Police Department, Gilbert Fire Department, Gilbert Public Schools, and various professionals from the public and private sector to help them know how better to respond to acute needs and also how to connect families with a broad array of community organizations and resources that can provide long-term support.
Deborah Geesling says, "It was an honor to host this event and we are grateful for Mayor John Lewis's leadership in reaching out to Faith leaders since they are often the first contact when families are in crisis. Liz Beck and myself were able to share in the workshop breakout sessions how we walked through our personal struggles with our church related to these topics. Through each of our trials, God has birthed two exciting new Organizations: Redeemed 2 Repeat, that seeks to walk alongside, equip and care for those who struggle with addiction. Also, the newly formed P82 Project Restoration, Inc. with the intent of opening a home for men with severe & persistent mental illness. Our goal in this forum was to inspire hope and confidence for our community in reaching out to our neighbors who also struggle with these issues."
The event closed with Jon McHatton, from Congressman Matt Salmon's office, asking for a commitment from Faith leaders to continue working together and to develop Crisis Care Teams in our local churches. At least ten different Faith group leaders agreed to participate. As the Mayor says, 'It was a great day in Gilbert.'"
Sovereign Grace Church was honored to play a small role in this event and to continue to support Deborah and Liz in there efforts to reach people in our community with these specific struggles and challenges.