For immediate release: Friday, Feb. 28, 2014
Victims praise Rick Warren/OC bishop event
Daylong seminar to address mental health issues
Education is an important first step, group says
SNAP: “But firing wrong-doers as important as therapy”
A national support group for victims of child sexual abuse is applauding an upcoming church-sponsored mental health seminar, saying it's a good first step in helping victims and others heal from the pains of mental illness.
Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org), are calling the partnership between Saddleback Church founder Rick Warren and the Catholic Diocese of Orange, CA, "movement in the right direction" to help victims of child sexual abuse and anyone who is suffering with mental illness.
The seminar, which will be held at the Saddleback Church campus in south Orange County, will feature speakers and small group seminars which will educate ministers and the public on how to compassionately and effectively help those suffering from mental illness.
SNAP leaders say that events like this should be accompanied by decisive action to help those who are suffering due to child sex abuse and cover-ups in Orange County institutions.
"There are three ways we can help victims of mental illness: compassion, intervention, and action," said Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, SNAP Volunteer Western Regional Director. "But without action—without punishing wrongdoers and those who covered up for them—victims of child sexual abuse who suffer from mental illness are only more isolated, shamed and vulnerable."
Casteix hopes that church officials in the area will publicly invite abuse victims to attend the event.
"After reaching out to victims, they should listen to their stories and take decisive action to ensure that the children are safe from abuse and the after-effects, including mental illness," she said. “All churches should do this, especially the Diocese of Orange, which has a shameful record in clergy abuse cases.”
She also said that she hopes that Warren speaks out about abuse and its effects on the mental health of children.
The day-long event is Friday March 28, 2014. http://mentalhealthandthechurch.com/
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)