Lead me through my faith…

I’m excited to share with you that I have been allowed to become trained and certified as an instructor for the Mental Health First Aid program for our local Catholic Diocese. Such an amazing program, and I am truly honored to have this chance to be a more active member of the mental health ministry for our community!!

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a prevention strategy that teaches how to help people developing a mental illness or in a crisis, including:

  • Signs of addictions and mental illnesses
  • 5-step action plan to assess a situation and help
  • Impact of mental and substance use disorders
  • Local resources and where to turn for help

My work will entail leading at least 3 classes a year. That’s the minimum. I hope we can reach as many people as we can – teachers, parish staff, parents, etc – those on the front lines who see our most vulnerable neighbors. I’m so very honored to get this chance, and I truly will not waste this gift.

It’s been almost three years since Allie took her life. I still can’t believe she is gone. I don’t know if I will ever come to terms with this fact fully. I will, however, keep praying that I will get to see her again. I just need to keep trying to be better so I can get to heaven and be with her again.

I miss my girl. I miss sitting next to her. I dream about her – brushing her hair almost felt so real that I woke up still feeling the touch of her hair on my fingers. I miss hearing people talk about her. I just miss her.

I keep this sadness in check, and I use this energy to do something. If you knew my daughter, you would remember her boundless energy. It was cooped up all the time, and she rarely sat still. She worked out every day. She went out and did something every day. She was a people person and could never be alone.

It’s this energy that I used to be in awe and wonder. She was all over the place and had friends all over the place. Maybe she hid her sadness with her activity. I suppose at one point she could no longer keep it in check.

I see now how so many mask their feelings. I’ve learned to treat every person I meet with patience and space. I’ve learned to listen. That is hard.

I pray each of us continue to try to listen. We all want our voices heard. But listening is a gift, one that so many will cherish when you give. It is in giving that we receive, and the receipt is a feeling of peace within your heart that you touched someone in a good way. It only takes one touch to make a difference.

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