A message from Archbishop Lori: Prioritizing Mental Wellness

July 8, 2021

Dear Friends in Christ,

As I mentioned several weeks ago in an earlier message, I have established a mental wellness workgroup of professional counselors, psychiatrists and diocesan staff members to develop resources and strategies to better support our communities as they cope with the emotional aftermath of the pandemic. I write today to provide you with a brief update on those efforts.

First, to assist those who may be in need of help, the workgroup has compiled an online list of resources at www.archbalt.org/help-is-here. The resources include a variety of options that can be searched by geography, type of service and level of cost, in the hope that individuals can use the resources to identify services that suit their individual needs.

Once again, I encourage you to reach out for help if you are struggling, and to recognize that the pressures we have all been under during this past year may have impacted you in ways that are only now becoming clear. You are not alone in your struggles, and seeking the support you need is an important step in achieving the strength and resilience necessary to restoring our lives to a healthy balance.

Secondly, the archdiocese is launching a program to provide as many of our pastors and parish and school staff training in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). This internationally recognized program equips participants with the skills to recognize when a person is in need, to respond appropriately and to help connect them to appropriate resources. We are currently establishing a cohort of instructors to provide the training, and ask that if you would like to join this effort and are a certified MHFA instructor or are interested in becoming one, to contact Mary Ellen Russell at mrussell@archbalt.org.

Finally, as we return to worshipping together in person as a community of faith, I pray that your encounter with the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and the companionship of the body of Christ will awaken in you a even deeper appreciation of the peace and joy that the practice of our faith brings to our lives.

May God bless you and keep you in His love.

Archbishop William E. Lori

Archbishop William E. Lori was installed as the 16th Archbishop of Baltimore May 16, 2012.

Prior to his appointment to Baltimore, Archbishop Lori served as Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., from 2001 to 2012 and as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington from 1995 to 2001.

A native of Louisville, Ky., Archbishop Lori holds a bachelor's degree from the Seminary of St. Pius X in Erlanger, Ky., a master's degree from Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg and a doctorate in sacred theology from The Catholic University of America. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Washington in 1977.

In addition to his responsibilities in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Archbishop Lori serves as Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus and is the former chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.