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Mental Health 101: Information for Clergy and Pastoral Lay Persons

Cyndi Muhlbauer and Ben Czyz of Lutheran Family Services and The Kim Foundation are excited to announce an upcoming mental health training session for clergy and lay persons on Wednesday, September 16th, from 1-4pm. This FREE training is open to any and all members of the clergy who are looking to gain a better understanding of mental health and local resources available to their parishioners, as well as have an opportunity to discuss challenges they may be facing when approached with a mental health crisis.

As far back as the National Mental Health Act of 1953, there was an acknowledgement from the federal government that, “Community mental health treatment cannot be effective without the participation of clergy.” Clergy are often the first people contacted when an individual is in crisis. Since then, research shows that the most important predictor of an individual healing from a mental illness is their ability to have at least one healthy, supportive relationship from a provider, and for that provider to give the individual hope. With nearly one in four families affected by mental illness, odds are that many of these families are seeking counsel from their church leaders before reaching out to a mental health professional.

Until now, there hasn’t been many opportunities available for clergy to learn about the symptoms and warning signs of mental illness, and about the effects that trauma can have on someone’s mental health. We are so grateful to Lutheran Family Services that they took the time to meet with clergy members when developing the curriculum in order to ensure that they were answering the most critical questions.

Space is limited to 40 participants, so please reserve your spot today! Contact Cyndi Muhlbauer at (402) 661-3139 or

When: Wednesday, September 16th, 1-4pm
Where: The Kim Foundation (inside C&A Industries)
                 13609 California Street, Omaha NE 68154 (second floor)

Cost: FREE


About Jill Sauser, The Kim Foundation Project Coordinator

Jill graduated with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Speech Communication from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2009. During her time at UNO, she completed a two year PR practicum program where she worked with numerous nonprofit clients including the MS Society, The Archdiocese of Omaha, The Omaha Food Bank, and YWCA. Since becoming Project Coordinator at The Kim Foundation in April 2014, she has become an active member of the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition, The Omaha Metro Hoarding Taskforce, the Early Childhood Mental Health Coalition, the Metro Area LOSS Team, and is helping lead a community-wide health improvement initiative with the Douglas County Health Department called, “Just Reach Out,” which is focused on improving the people’s view on mental and behavioral health treatment.