Clergy and professionals gather for interfaith mental health seminar
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Clergy and professionals gather for interfaith mental health seminar

Susan Greenbaum
Susan Greenbaum

More than 100 participants are expected at the Interfaith Roundtable on Mental Health Awareness on Wednesday, October 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sponsored by Central Unitarian Church in Paramus and Paramus Stigma Free Zone, the roundtable is scheduled in conjunction with Mental Illness Awareness Week under the auspices of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Open to clergy, religious professionals, and lay leaders, the program features a panel including presentations by Susan Greenbaum, the executive director of the Jewish Family Service of Bergen and North Hudson. Other panelists include Jim Bushoven, pastor of community development at the Hawthorne Gospel Church; Sheikh Moutaz Charaf, imam of the El-Zahra Islamic Center; Louis Knaub, board president of Christ Church Community Development Center; and Peg Whelahan, a member of the Church of the Presentation. David Horst, the minister of Central Unitarian Church, is the moderator.

The program also includes a resource room and proposed program initiatives for faith communities. A vegetarian lunch is provided, and a $15 donation is requested. Register at eventbrite.com and search on Interfaith Roundtable on Mental Health or call Cynthia Chazen at (201) 767-8122.

Central Unitarian Church in Paramus received an ambassador award from the N.J. Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma in April. The church was one of 10 individuals and faith-based or religious institutions recognized for their effective support services or programs that reduce the ways in which society stigmatizes people with mental illness.

Central Unitarian Church members voted in June 2015 to become a designated Stigma-Free Zone and to promote mental health awareness within the congregation and the larger Bergen County community.

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