Beth Am, a congregation in Los Altos Hills, created Beit R’fuah (House of Healing), a mental health support group, to bring together people who felt marginalized in their communities. This led to the production of a powerful documentary, “House of Healing,” showing how houses of worship can become mental health friendly by de-stigmatizing mental illness.
The film, which will be screened at the February 8 general meeting, explores personal stories from participants, interviews from clergy, community, and professionals, and mental health statistics in an effort to break the silence.
Following the screening, a panel will take questions from the audience. The panel will include:
Chaplain Barbara F. Zahner, BCC is the founding board member of the Association of Catholic Mental Health Ministers. A hospital chaplain and spiritual director, Barbara initiated Out of the Wilderness, a bereavement group for those whose loved ones died by suicide. Barbara has served on the Suicide Prevention and Intervention Task Force for Santa Clara County. She is a board-certified chaplain through the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.
Chaplain Bruce Feldstein, MD, BCC is founder and director of Jewish Chaplaincy Services, serving Stanford Medicine, a program of Jewish Family & Children’s Services, and adjunct clinical professor at Stanford University School of Medicine. He developed and teaches an award-winning curriculum on spirituality and well-being for medical students and faculty at Stanford School of Medicine.
Carol Irwin, DC is a founder and group facilitator of Beit R’fuah (House of Healing) at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills. She has volunteered as a support group leader for 16 years. Carol served as chair of the Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Board and vice president of NAMI- SCC. Carol participated in a pilot study, Complementary Alternative Care for Individuals with Schizophrenia Living in the Community, that was presented at a NAMI California State Conference.
Sharon Roth, BSN, MA is an assistant professor of Nursing at Samuel Merritt University. She is a former president of NAMI-Santa Clara County and vice president of NAMI San Mateo County. She helped start Crisis Intervention (CIT) programs, partnering with the behavioral health departments and law enforcement in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. A former member of the behavioral health boards in both counties, she recently was invited to join the AOT Advisory Board.
Tony Sehgal is the filmmaker and photographer for the “House of Healing” documentary, who earned his master’s in Documentary Film and Video Production from Stanford University.
Watch the recording of the meeting on the Video Gallery