The Green River Area Council on Aging is seeking to partner with local clergy groups to provide pastoral counseling to area seniors.
The initiative is being led by the Council’s Senior Mental Health subcommittee, whose purpose is to explore mental health issues and topics affecting seniors and to share information about senior mental health with the community.
Members of the subcommittee have recognized that mental health services, particularly for seniors and especially in rural areas, are generally lacking despite the large numbers of seniors within that population and the propensity for increased mental health issues related to aging.
Continuing discussions have highlighted that area clergy and churches have a unique relationship with many seniors of the area and are likely to be called upon frequently to deal with such needs.
“Our goal is not to ask pastors to take on the role of a mental health professional, but rather to help seniors who may be isolated or intimidated by the idea of professional mental health services to have someone to connect with, who understands the need for confidentiality, and if needed can refer individuals to other community resources,” said Henrietta Harris, Aging Council Chairperson.
Clergy who are interested in learning more about this initiative can contact Libby Watson at 270-926-4433 or [email protected].