Professionals on the front lines of caring for others were all represented at STCH Ministries’ 3rd annual iCare Conference this month in Victoria, Texas. Emergency first responders, pastors, teachers, counselors and politicians all battle the epidemic that is the mental health crisis facing our homes, schools, churches and communities around the country. STCH Ministries Family Counseling provided a resource to equip those who work with the public for their tasks. iCare, a conference for people who help people once again provided quality training for those who work in the industry. care
Coming from all across South Texas, over 200 participants, staff and presenters gathered at the University of Houston-Victoria to explore topics ranging from Understanding and Preventing Suicide to overcoming professional burn out to instruction on parenting and marriage. Glen Dry, Lead Pastor of The Sportsman’s Church in Victoria brought most of his staff with him to the event. “I think what is learned and shared here is some of the most valuable education in the business of caring for others,” Dry explained in answer to what kept him coming back for his third iCare Conference.
Experts from across STCH Ministries’ nine ministries in cooperation with area churches and organizations came together to provide attendees with training and resources applicable to their individual practices. iCare is the only conference of its kind in Victoria offering continuing education units for licensed professionals as well as practical material applicable to laypeople serving in leadership capacities in their communities.
Lunchtime provided the highlight for many in the form of self-care through laughter. Melissa Radke made attendees laugh through tears with the story of how she came to believe in her own self-worth after years of doubt. The thirty breakout sessions explored heavy subject matter, and levity in the middle of the day provided the opportunity to relax and gear up for more learning in the afternoon.
Mental health is a broad topic on everyone’s mind. The seemingly unpredictable, often tragic impact an individual’s suffering contributes to the unease throughout the nation today and affects everyone in some capacity. STCH Ministries continues to raise the bar of quality care for families and children in crisis as well as leading others to do the same.