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Newsletter, May-June 2017

Training seminar for clergy

A training seminar on psychiatry for clergy engaged in pastoral work with mental patients was held on June 15-16, 2017, in Voronezh. It was organized by the diocese of Voronezh together with the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences center for mental health with active support of the Voronezh regional healthcare department. It was the first theory-practice forum to be held for Orthodox clergy in such a format.

The seminar was attended by clergymen of all the three dioceses of the Metropolia of Voronezh - those of Voronezh, Borisoglebsk and Rossoshany. Lectures were given by G. I. Kopeiko, MD, deputy director of the Mental Health Center (MHC), V. G. Kaleda, MD, senior researcher, MHC endogenous mental disorders department and professor at the St. Tikhon Orthodox University of the Humanity's chair of practical theology; Ms. Ye. V. Gedevani, MD, psychotherapist, MHC endogenous mental disorders researcher, and A. V. Kuznetsov, a neurologist.

In the morning of June 15, Archpriest Andrey Skakalin, secretary of the Voronezh diocesan administration, celebrated a prayer service for the beginning of a good task at the Cathedral of the Annunciation. Then the seminar participants proceeded to the Voronezh Regional Psychoneurological Dispensary, in which Dr. Kopeiko gave a lecture on the specificity of work with mental patients. After the lecture the training seminar took place, where the clergy and medics discussed important issues of care for mental disorders and considered problem situations the clergy have to encounter in their practical pastoral care for mental patients.

On its second day the forum was held at the assembly hall of Voronezh Theological Seminary (VTS). Along with the clergy, invited to the meeting were 3d and 4th year-students of the VTS pastoral faculty. The meeting was opened by Rev. Roman Tkachev, the rector of the seminary. He was followed by Dr. V. Kaleda, who thanked the attendees for their interest in the topic of pastoral care of mental patients, stressing the importance and relevance of the problem. His meeting with representatives of the Metropolia of Voronezh lasted nearly three hours. He spoke not only on the theoretical aspect of psychiatry as a science but also cited numerous examples from his medical practice and challenged the listeners to enter into dialogue. After his talk he gave in-detail answers to numerous questions from the audience. On the occasion of the forum, the St. Tikhon University published Dr. Kaleda's educational aid entitled 'The Basics of Pastoral Psychiatry', copies of which were distributed to the participants and given to the seminary's library stock.

The first theoretical-practical seminar concluded with a meeting with the head of the Metropolia of Voronezh, His Eminence Sergiy, Metropolitan of Voronezh and Liskinsk. The talk with the ruling bishop took place at the Akatovy Convent of St. Alexis. His Eminence discussed with the guests the results of the forum. They outlined plans for further work in taking pastoral care of mental patients.

The participants in the forum admitted that they received important theoretical knowledge about psychiatry and a priceless experience in and skills for practical contacts with those who suffer.

From www.vob-eparhia.ru

Measures for preventing the use of psychoactive substances

On June 19, 2017, a round-table conference took place at the North Caucasus Federal University (NCFU) in Stavropol under the theme 'The system of primary prevention of the use of psychoactive substances (PAS): Modern approaches and technologies'. Its aim was to search for effective ways of inter-professional cooperation in preventing the use of PAS by youth and effective propaganda of healthy way of life in general education institutions and universities.

The round table was attended by specialists of the Stavropol Regional Ministry of Education, Stavropol Drug Control Directorate, the regional narcological dispensary, social educators and psychologists from educational institutions, parents and members of volunteers teams in educational institution of the city.

After the round table, a methodological training seminar was conducted under the Ladya program for preventing risk behaviors and HIV/AIDS among teenagers. The Ladya program is based on the spiritual and moral education and deals with such important matters as happiness, friendship, love, health, values, goals, etc. In order to be able to put all these themes across to teenagers, the participants in the seminar - teachers and psychologists 'assimilated all these themes' through trainings, role-playing games and learning exercises. According to the organizers, all these instruments help the participants to become aware of particular problems.

The seminar was conducted by Yelena Severina, a psychologist, director of the center for psychological, medical and social support for children and youth in Bryansk, and Victoria Afonina, a clinical psychologist and specialist in art therapy. She is also the chairwoman of the governing board of Blago, a regional NGO in Bryansk.

After the training seminar, its participants were granted graduation certificates, which give them the right to work under the Ladya program.

From dobrostav.ru

Celebrations at Moscow Clinic for Infectious Diseases No. 2

On June 23, 2017, Bishop Panteleimon of Orekhovo-Zuevo, head of the Synodal Department for Church Charity and Social Service and director of Miloserdie, an Orthodox aid service, visited Clinic for Infectious Diseases No. 2 on Sokolinaya Gora in Moscow at the invitation of its chief physician Ms. Svetlana Krasnova.

His Grace celebrated the festive liturgy at the clinic's Chapel of St. Panteleimon the Healer and congratulated the congregation on two significant dates. The first one was the 80th anniversary of the clinic itself, which was opened on July 1, 1937, and 10 years ago that day there came to work in the clinic sisters and volunteers of the Palliative Care Service for HIV-infected people, one of the 27 projects run by Miloserdie.

After the liturgy Bishop Panteleimon blessed the new iconostasis of the clinic's chapel and visited one of the wards in which HIV-infected patients are treated. He addressed them with pastoral words, presented them with small gifts and said a prayer for the health of all the worshippers.

Clinic No.2 is a major hospital for infectious diseases in Moscow. Here, up to 960 patients with infectious diseases including HIV and especially dangerous diseases can be treated simultaneously.

The sisters of mercy and volunteers of the Palliative Care Service for HIV-infected people are guided by the senior nurse of the St. Dimitry Sisterhood, Olga Yegorova. They work in four wards in which 180 patients are treated at the same time. The average age of the patients with HIV and AIDS, who are attended to by sisters and volunteers, is 30.

From www.miloserdie.ru

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