By Joi Thomas, Special to the AFRO

May was Mental Health Month and during the entire month awareness of mental health issues was the focus of conversations and forums in various settings.  However, the focus on mental health continued earlier this month after two suicide deaths by prominent figures in the media and culture; Anthony Bourdain, the famous food expert, chef and host of the award winning  “Parts Unknown” on CNN, and Kate Spade, the internationally acclaimed designer of handbags, clothing and jewelry.

Many people battle with mental illness in isolation;  as Christians, we have a spiritual source to go to, when we need guidance and comfort.  However, there are also other resources available to help get us through tough and trying times.   A few churches in our area operate licensed therapy centers that work to reinforce faith in God and good mental health. The following information is taken directly from several area church resources:

The Reid Temple Restoration Center (Reid Temple A.M.E. Church), provides services to promote the educational, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being of it congregants, residents in the Glenn Dale community, surrounding underserved communities and the continent of Africa.  Services offered include one-on-one Christian care, psychoeducational groups, youth empowerment circle series and support groups.  Reid Temple Restoration center is located in Glenn Dale, Maryland.  For more information, (301) 352-1768 or reidrestoration.com.

The Renaissance Center of Morning Star Baptist Church in Woodlawn is committed to promoting healthy relationships through excellent and accessible services to the Baltimore and surrounding areas.  These services are provided without regard to creed, color or socio-economic status or religious affiliation by competent, well-trained clinicians who strive to faithfully integrate Christian/biblical truths with principles of psychological health. Services offered include individual, marital and family therapy in multiple areas.  For more information (410) 265-7291 or therenaissancecenter.org

Safe Harbor Christian Counseling exists to provide Christian-based, clinically sound counseling to individuals, couples and families so that people experience life change emotionally, mentally, relationally and spiritually.  Safe Harbor has locations all over Maryland and in other states such as Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, New Jersey, and also in Washington DC.  Services provided include child/adolescent counseling, adult counseling, couples counseling, couples intensives, marriage checkup and coaching services.  For more information, 1-800-305-2089 or safeharbor1.com.

If you find yourself needing help, reach out to one of these facilities and get the resources you need to keep going.  Maybe you know someone who would benefit from this.  Point them in the right direction.  It’s always good to talk to someone who has the tools to help you see the hope in your situation.  Don’t give up.  I Peter 5:7 (NIV) states, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”  Once you have prayed about it, go and get the help you need to be successful in overcoming your situation.