Please check out the latest podcasts over at Mormon Mental Health which share some extremely important messages and have guests who were willing to speak to our LDS community from some really important organizations.
Natasha Helfer Parker interviews Administrator Pam Hyde, J.D. from SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a public health agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. They discuss a variety of mental health and substance abuse issues that affect our society as a whole, including a discussion on how those within the Mormon faith can be better equipped to deal with the individual and familial concerns that come up within congregations and faith-based communities. This is a particularly good podcast for anyone in a leadership position (stake presidencies, bishoprics, relief society presidencies, young women/men presidencies and primary presidencies) to listen to from an educational perspective as to different mental health concerns that could be occurring in any stake, ward or brach unit. Ms. Hyde points out that it is often faith leaders who are first responders to situations dealing with mental health and substance abuse crisis. She also shares statistics that help us understand that we are all affected, either personally or through family members/friends, when it comes to these health concerns.
Pamela Hyde was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in November 2009 as Administrator of SAMHSA. The agency’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities. Ms. Hyde is an attorney and comes to SAMHSA with more than 35 years experience in management and consulting for public healthcare and human services agencies. She has served as a state mental health director, state human services director, city housing and human services director, as well as CEO of a private non-profit managed behavioral healthcare firm. In 2003 she was appointed cabinet secretary of the New Mexico Human Services Department by Gov. Bill Richardson, where she worked effectively to provide greater access to quality health services for everyone. Ms. Hyde received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School (1976) and her B.A. from Missouri State University (1972).It was an honor to have Administrator Hyde be willing to come on to our show with her desire to reach out to our LDS community and share such important and relevant information.
Natasha Helfer Parker interviews Dr. Sharon Groves from the Human Rights Campaign. They discuss important issues that directly affect the Mormon LGBT population, research implications for families wanting to support their LGBT youth, interfaith efforts that HRC is heading, and implications of the current dialogue of “religious freedom” happening in parts of the USA. They also have a discussion on transgender individuals and the unique challenges they face in faith communities and our culture at large.
Sharon joined HRC in September 2005 and brings considerable experience through editing and writing skills. She has overseen the creation of numerous new resources, including a weekly preaching resource, a guide to living openly in your place of worship, a curriculum that follows the movie For the Bible Tells Me So and another that helps congregations wrestle with issues of gender identity within their faith communities. She has published a number of articles on such topics as religion and marriage equality, the importance of religious advocacy within the LGBT movement and the struggle for equality within world religions.
She is a lay leader at All Souls Church, Unitarian, where she has chaired the Committee on Ministry and worked extensively on issues of racial justice, community voting rights and neighborhood outreach. Sharon received her Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Maryland in 2000 and since then has engaged in extensive course work in theology and sexuality from Wesley Theological Seminary and the Chicago Theological Seminary.