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Come to our final Stephen Ministry Seminar on May 15th after second service to hear Dr. Steve Huggins share about Depression & Suicide.  Dr. Huggins will provide information on what to watch for and offer suggestions as to how to help those who are suffering. 

Lunch will be provided. Please register at

The pandemic wreaked havoc on people’s mental health — and a new study suggests the effects are widespread and longer-lasting than anticipated. Depression rates tripled over the course of the first year of the pandemic.

People often experience elevated levels of depression after a traumatic event. It can be caused by natural disasters, terrorist attacks or, in this case, a pandemic. Usually depression rates rise during the event and then level out over time — but that’s not happening with Covid. For example, healthcare workers providing frontline services, people affected by stay-at-home orders, students who experience loneliness of school closure, as well as people who have lost loved ones or jobs due to the disease may be at greater risk for developing long-term difficulties.

Overall suicide rates decreased during the pandemic, however there was a significant increase in suicide rates in the youth during the pandemic. Much of this is related to increased social media use, personal isolation and loneliness due to school closures and lockdowns, drug experimentation and overdosage.

These are two areas Stephen Ministers receive training to identify problems and walk with people who are in the early stages of depression and at risk. Often knowing someone is available to listen and offer support is helpful. If you are interested in becoming a Stephen Minister please watch for more information to apply for the training in the Fall. 

If you have questions contact one of the Stephen Ministry Leaders—Mark Baker, Ben Landolt, or Marianne Wallace by filing out a Communication Card.