Mental Health Ministry

 Upcoming Programs and Events


 Unitarian Universalists Society:  East
UUS:E Mental Health Ministry Summit

Saturday, June 29th at UUS:E, 9:00 to Noon

All are welcome to attend UUS:E’s 2019 Mental Health Ministry Summit. This is an opportunity for anyone who lives with a mental illness, is in recovery from a mental illness, lives with and/or cares for someone with a mental illness, has a family member or friend with a mental illness, works as a health care provider to people with mental illness, or is just interested in the Mental Health Ministry, to meet with a committed, fun-loving group of people for fellowship, food and activities.

This year we are excited to welcome two very dynamic speakers:

Amer Nabil describes himself as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a father, a husband, a son, a friend, a servant of my Creator and your brother in humanity. I grew up being told by many that my goals are over ambitious. I chose not to internalize this narrative and practiced being into this world the self that I wanted to be. As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, I serve as an inpatient provider for multiple acute psychiatric hospitals in Connecticut, outpatient consultant for clinics in CT and New York, mentor for  psychiatric nurse practitioner graduates and a media contributor. My private practice is Half Full Psychiatry based out of Glastonbury, where I see clients ages 12 and up for medication management. I am also the co-founder of DNY (Destination New You) – a company focused on personal development launching this November.

Helen Evrard MD is a former practicing allergist who was hospitalized for major depression in 2011 after experiencing massive financial loss. She authored “Positive Matters: Words, Quotations and Stories to Heal and Inspire,” and co-created Positive PullsTM with artist Kimberly Barcello. She produced and hosted “Your Mind Matters,” a radio show on mental health topics which aired on WESU 88.1 FM Middletown from 2014-18. She served on the Connecticut Suicide Advisory Board, and currently provides wellbeing coaching to library patrons. A 2015 winner of the Paul G Quinnet Lived Experience Writing Prize, she volunteers at the psych unit of Stamford Hospital, where she co-facilitates group sessions. Besides serving on her town’s Committee Concerning Persons with Disability, she a candidate for a Master’s degree in creative writing at Western Connecticut State University, and is the mother of twins.

Questions? Contact Rev. Josh Pawelek at (860) 646-5151 or revpawelek@gmail.com.

The UUS:E mental health ministry is a network of people who provide understanding and support for folks affected by mental illness and to caregivers.
Twice a year we hold a summit. It is a program, open to the congregation, to informally share and learn more about our experiences with mental illness. We use spiritual activities such as art, walking in the woods and in labyrinths, and games to express our feelings. Please contact Sarah Karstaedt or Christine Joyner to be included on the email contact list for the next meeting.
Sarah Karstaedt, sarah_karstaedt@sbcglobal.net, Christine Joyner, spiritmoon7491@gmail.com
Summit programs twice/year, Dates TBD


Unitarian Universalist Chalice

Unitarian Universalist Society: East, Mental Health Ministry

Mental illness is pervasive in the United States–far more than most people realize. In many faith communities, mental illness remains unspeakable. At UUS:E we are committed to ending the stigma surrounding mental illness. Most importantly, UUS:E’s mental health ministry seeks to make mental illness speakable. Having a culture and climate where we can talk about depression, or any other brain disorder, is of utmost importance. Somehow, we need to make a shift in our thinking to include brain disorders the same way we consider body disorders. Whether someone has cancer or depression, they don’t expect to be shunned because of either of them, but it happens. A lot of it has to do with how we name it, what language we use to describe it. We are dealing with people who are our friends or family members, people we love. We are looking at ways to show compassion for one another. We need to connect on a very human, heart-to-heart level.

UUS:E’s Mental Health Ministry provides support and recommends resources to people who have, or have had, a mental health diagnosis in their lives, as well as people who are caring for family members and friends who have, or have had, such a diagnosis.

Mind Your Health is a support network that discusses various aspects of mental health/mental illness/brain dis-ease. If you would like to get involved, have questions, or just want to talk, contact 860-646-5151 or uuseoffice@uuse.org.

Mental Health Caregivers Support Network is a support network for caregivers and families/friends of people with mental health issues. We meet as a group twice a year for a summit to discuss ideas of what members would like to do in the next six months and to affirm contact information within the group.

If you would like to get involved, have questions, or just want to talk, contact the office at 860-646-5151 or uuseoffice@uuse.org.

  • Need advice on securing state and federal benefits related to mental illness? Contact Ida Gales at 860-646-5151.
  • Need advice on navigating school systems and accessing mental health resources for children? Contact Mary Young at 860-646-5151.
  • Want information on resources available through NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness)? Contact Sarah Karstaedt at 860-646-5151.

Watch our Adult Programs, Classes and Ongoing Groups pages for special events and classes.

Pastoral Care Ministries

Caring for each other in times of personal challenge or crisis is at the heart of our congregational culture and mission. In partnership with the minister, UUS:E’s Pastoral Care Committee helps us carry out this very important internal ministry. For more information, click here.