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Introduction to EMPOWER

Mental Health Awareness Training

One in five adults experience mental illness every year, yet fewer than half of those receive treatment. These issues affect people from all walks of life – no one is immune to psychological distress. Although mental illness is fairly common, sufferers often feel too embarrassed to seek help. This can ultimately have devastating consequences – mental illness lessens an individual’s quality of life and can even result in suicide.

Dr. Matt Stanford, CEO of the Hope and Healing Center & Institute, recently led our EMPOWER Mental Health Awareness Training in San Antonio, TX. The congregation at First Presbyterian Church warmly welcomed Dr. Stanford, and he was introduced by Bob Fuller, their Senior Pastor, as well as David Rogers, President and CEO of the H. E. Butt Foundation. During the training, you will gain the tools to identify mental illness, develop appropriate situational responses, and connect those in distress with professional help.

Why San Antonio?

Faith communities like First Presbyterian Church of San Antonio embraced the Gateway to Hope trainings and embarked on an ambitious faith-based initiative aimed at enhancing the quality of life for San Antonians. San Antonio has a long history of facilitating the connection between faith and mental health, but there is still a great need for better equipping faith communities to support those with mental health issues. GTH educates congregations and equips them to become caring communities for people struggling with mental illnesses.

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You Will Learn:

  • What is meant by the terms “mental health” and “mental illness”, how psychological distress manifests itself and how mental illness impacts a person’s life.
  • The main symptoms of mental health disorders
  • The truth behind misconceptions surrounding mental health disorders
  • How and why people self-harm, the nature of suicidal thoughts and how to help someone who is contemplating ending their life
  • How to communicate with someone in distress and refer them to a professional for assistance
  • How to start the conversation about mental health in your faith community

Benefits of Taking This Course:

  • You will be in a position to support those experiencing mental illness or distress
  • You will have a better understanding of the most common mental health topics
  • The course will provide you with the knowledge you need to aid those struggling with mental illness, specifically related to referrals for treatment




Anyone who has an interest in gaining a greater understanding of this subject is encouraged to take the course.

The EMPOWER Training is broken down into 4 sections, which are called the 4 Rs.

You can view the training at any time you would like. The video is compatible with all devices.

Visit our Contact page to send us your question.