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Metro Phoenix church offers mental health support during pandemic

(KTAR News Photo/Ali Vetnar)

PHOENIX — You’re seen. You’re not alone. There’s help. That’s what Christ’s Church of the Valley wants those battling mental health to know in the midst of what many are calling a secondary pandemic.

In response to the rise in mental health issues and increase in substance abuse, Peoria-based CCV has dedicated a series of church services with conversations focused on just that.

On Sunday, Ashley Wooldridge, the senior pastor of Christ’s Church of the Valley, announced a campaign called “Press On.” Its purpose is to better recognize, understand and respond to the growing challenge of mental health in the Valley.

The campaign is focused on connecting anyone in need of support with resources available. If you or someone you know is struggling, text “HELP” to 72020 or visit online.

Regardless of whether you attend the church, a staff member from CCV will respond and assist you over the phone within 24 hours.

The church also is offering to provide financial assistance for the first 10 sessions of counseling.

“If you look at the charts on mental health, they always spike around the holidays and so we’re approaching the holidays and we just felt compelled as a church there’s something we can do to step in the gap and help people that are struggling,” Wooldridge told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported adverse mental or behavioral health conditions, including symptoms of anxiety disorder or depressive disorder, trauma-related symptoms, new or increased substance use, or thoughts of suicide. The prevalence of anxiety and depression symptoms are substantially higher than reported in 2019.

Over the past weekend, CCV held a conversation on mental health and addiction where Wooldridge interviewed the lone survivor of the Yarnell 19, Brendan McDonough.

He shared his story of tragedy, which led to a severe battle with addiction while struggling with mental health issues.

The “Let’s Talk About It” sermon series will conclude this weekend with an interview including Dr. Henry Cloud, a psychologist and author who focuses on mental health, on the topic of mental health and relationships.

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