Amen Corner

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RISE ABOVE

Jennifer Reynolds, who lived with anxiety and depression, will tell her story March 12.   Special
Special
Jennifer Reynolds, who lived with anxiety and depression, will tell her story March 12.

WHAT: Rise Above, a seminar on spirituality and mental health

WHEN: 10 a.m. to noon March 12; doors open at 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: The Quest Church, 4020 Washington Road, Martinez

ABOUT THE SEMINAR: Four speakers will share their experiences with depression, anxiety and mental health issues, along with coping strategies and the ways they've found healing, said Jennifer Reynolds, the event's keynote speaker. A number of businesses and health-care providers will be on hand with information.

HER STORY: Reynolds lived with depression and anxiety for more than 20 years but didn't begin speaking about her experiences until an opportunity arose at her church a few years ago.

"My faith played a critical role in my healing," Reynolds said. "After I spoke about mental illness, the floodgates opened. Person after person told me about how they, too, lived with a mental illness, but unlike me, they still struggled with it."

Reynolds wrote a Bible study called Rise, which she taught at the church. This seminar and health fair grew out of that study, she said.

THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH: "I believe the topic of mental illness is critical for the church to address. It's in brokenness that God changes lives," Reynolds said. "Christ said that when we see someone who has a need and we provide for that need, it is as if we were serving him directly."

WHAT TO EXPECT: Reynolds hopes participants leave the seminar encouraged and equipped.

"It's so tiring to live with a mental illness -- even the little things in life can become very difficult when your body and mind are so run down," she said. "If I do nothing else at Rise Above, I want people to leave feeling renewed and that there is hope specifically for them, whatever their challenges are."

LEARN MORE: See riseabovehealthfair.com for more information.


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