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Coping With Stress And Anxiety


Oct 12, 2017 - 7:00 pm

Prayer Service For Mental Health Planned

The theme verse for the 2017 Lancaster County National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding service is Psalm 46:10, which reads, "Be still and know that I am God."

"As life speeds up and gets busier, there are more demands on job positions, which causes people stress," said Cathi Myers, director of Minds Renewed, a division of Handi-Vangelism Ministries in Ephrata and a coordinator of the prayer service. "Taking a couple of deep breaths and (letting) faith enter ... can be very helpful to individuals. Research has shown how much being still can help a person reset stress levels."

The topic "Stress and Anxiety: Finding Peace" will be the focus when the annual service is held on Thursday, Oct. 12, at Calvary Church, 1051 Landis Valley Road, Lancaster. The program will begin at 7 p.m. This year, Minds Renewed and Faith Friendship Ministries have partnered with Joni and Friends and No Longer Alone Ministries to organize the event.

Dr. Karla Campanella, a family doctor and a missionary who is now a psychiatrist in the Philhaven system, will speak, along with her colleague Jennifer Hailey, a licensed clinical psychologist who has a master's degree in psychology and a doctorate in theological studies.

Stress and anxiety are both among the more common mental health issues, according to Campanella. She added that response to stress is different for each individual. "There are life events that can build and build, and we all have different places where it becomes too much," she said. "A lot of how to manage stress involves learning to change how we think about things and set boundaries in our lives."

"(People who are emotionally strong) just keep pushing along until they get to a breaking point," she added. "The purpose (of this discussion will be) to introduce new ideas and thoughts on how to manage (stress)."

One goal, according to Campanella, is to avoid burnout. "Burnout is different from depression," she said. "Burnout is where you are doing the job you really enjoy, but the stress has caused you to lose your joy, focus, and ability to do the job. There's a need to know how to handle this kind of stress."

Campanella pointed out that stress and anxiety are not the same, noting that anxiety is a biologic illness that she believes is hereditary. She noted that there are differences between general anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). "People with anxiety can struggle a great deal even if they don't have stress," said Campanella. "I will talk about medications and some of the newer things that have come out to be helpful for the actual tendency toward anxiety."

The 2016 county observance of the National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding drew approximately 200 people, some coming from as far away as West Chester and Wellsboro. "The feedback we consistently hear is that people come from a distance because we talk about this in a spiritual context (of mental health)," said Campanella. "With these issues, there's a biologic part, a behavioral part, and a spiritual part, and we try to (address) all three."

There is no cost to attend the service, but registration is requested. Readers may register at http://www.hvmi.org or by calling 717-859-4777. A freewill offering will be received.

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