Women At Church stories are submitted by church members and shared anonymously.
My stake Relief Society president has demonstrated the most inspired initiative and leadership on the issue of mental health. After consulting with mental health professionals and preparing resource packets, she proposed to the stake president that he invite all ward RS presidents to join the bishops for their regular training council.
We sat around a large table, exactly 11 women, 11 men, and one baby. A female licensed social worker spoke for a portion of the meeting on how and when to refer ward members to professional care; on what resources to offer members struggling with mental health, and specific guidance in certain extreme cases; and on establishing self-care and boundaries as we minister. The stake RS president spoke next, sharing a packet she had compiled of local and online mental health resources. The bishops seemed particularly grateful for this.
How rare to sit in a council with exactly equal numbers of men and women! And what leadership our RS president has shown on this issue. At the founding of the Relief Society, our first president Emma Smith said, “We are going to do something extraordinary. . . . we expect extraordinary occasions and pressing calls.” This meeting was an extraordinary occasion to answer a pressing call. I am thankful for the cooperative ministry being modeled and encouraged in our stake.