Highlights from the 2024 ADAMH Bridging Our Temples Faith Conference - ADAMH Board of Franklin County

Highlights from the 2024 ADAMH Bridging Our Temples Faith Conference

Providing faith leaders an opportunity to prioritize self-care was the focus of the 2024 ADAMH Bridging Our Temples Faith Conference on May 4.

More than 100 people attended this free, day-long learning experience that was designed to educate, inform and support Franklin County faith leaders on topics centered around behavioral health. Because these individuals are often lifelines for those in crisis, ADAMH actively engages with the members of the faith community as key partners in the prevention of suicide and reduction of stigma, which is why feedback from previous year’s participants helps inform programming.

ADAMH also recognizes that in order for faith leaders to be there for others, they must first address their own well-being.

Events at this year’s conference included health and wellness exercises, such as practical breathing and yoga techniques that can be done seated, a keynote address from Julius Lancaster, lead pastor of All Nations Worship Assembly of Columbus and a panel discussion.

The panel, led by Ameena “Dr. K.” Kemavor, vice president of Advocacy & Engagement at ADAMH, was a discussion among Dr. Bernadette Anderson, physician at Faith Family Health, JoMarie Richardson, Ohio pharmacy director at Equitas Health, Danielle Pierce, director of pharmacy operations at Equitas Health and Ezekiel Peebles III, CEO and clinical director at Key Counseling & Consultation.

The panelists shared insights about the importance of good relationships between clinicians and patients, how one can proactively reach out to their clinician for help and obstacles to help-seeking behaviors specific to the faith community.

Jackie Flemmings, deacon of First Church of God and program director of The Mother’s Cove, said she enjoyed the diversity of the panel guests, as well as the range of topics covered.

“I think what was said here needs to be said in a larger arena,” Jackie said. “I plan to convey to my congregation the importance of taking personal responsibility for their health rather than relying on others to do so.”

During Pastor Lancaster's keynote, he spoke about the weight of leadership responsibility and emphasized the importance of transparency in acknowledging the need for therapy, despite initial reluctance. By sharing his own experiences, he shared that he became more relatable to his family, congregants and community, and even inspired over 60 church members to seek therapy themselves.

D Malone, ADAMH senior director of Faith-Based & Community Engagement, was pleased with how the event came together.

“The vision was cast months ago and full execution was realized in living color,” she said. “In my opening remarks I conveyed my hope for our attendees to leave void of excuses for not taking care of themselves, mind, body and soul.  Based on the information shared throughout the day, they left equipped to do just that. Simply stated, I believe it is important for them to take time away from serving so they themselves can be served.”

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