Mental Health Awareness

Join us!
Addictions and Mental Health Awareness Events

In 1990, Congress established the first week in October as Mental Illness Awareness Week. In recognition of this, Luther Seminary is holding a series of events to raise awareness and understanding of mental health issues.

“Restoring the Elements of a Resilient Life: Blending Science and Wisdom to Sustain a Healthy Mind, Mood and Heart”

Oct. 1, 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

Olson Campus Center, Lecture Hall

Henry Emmons, M.D.

Most of us would agree that we live in challenging times. Over the past few decades, the rates of stress-related conditions have increased steadily to epidemic proportions. What has eroded our natural ability to bounce back from adversity, and what can be done to regain resilience and sustain it throughout a lifetime? Taking lessons from new neuroscience and ancient wisdom, we will explore what it takes to achieve greater vitality, inner calm and meaningful connection, even when life is difficult.


“Reflections on Recovery, Ministry and Addiction”

Oct. 10, 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

Olson Campus Center, Auxiliary Dining Room

Panelists:Ed Treat, Transfiguration Lutheran Church, Bloomington, Minn.

Matthew Nelson, M.A. Student and Luther Seminary Artist in Residence

Julie GebbenGreen, Pastor, Edgcumbe Presbyterian Church, St. Paul, Minn.

Local church leaders will share their stories and offer reflections on ministry both as persons in recovery and as ones ministering to those who struggle with addiction.  There will also be a Q&A time.


“Ministry and Addiction: Continuing the Conversation”

Oct. 24, 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Olson Campus Center, Auxiliary Dining Room

Gary Wilkerson, Pastoral Director, Counseling Center at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

Following the morning chapel service during which he will preach, Gary Wilkerson will draw upon his extensive experience in the area of chemical dependency treatment and pastoral counseling in order to facilitate a conversation over the lunch hour that will gather up themes, questions and concerns that have emerged over the month.


“Mental Illness and Substance Use”

Oct. 29, 7-8 p.m.

Bockman Hall, Room 116

Dr. Sheila Specker, M.D., Psychiatrist, University of Minnesota Department of Psychiatry

Sheila Specker is the medical director of the substance use disorder treatment programs. Her clinical and research interests focus on the co-morbidity of eating and substance use disorders, other co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders, special populations in substance abuse and health care professionals with addictive disorders. This open lecture is part of the pastoral care class, "Ministry with Persons with Mental Illness and Their Families."


All events are free and open to the public. This series is sponsored by Luther Seminary’s Office of Student Affairs and the Seminary Pastor’s Office, with funding from the Hulme Endowment for Pastoral Care and Mental Health.