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Archdiocesan District of Adelaide, St Stephen’s Central Youth – Live Q & A on Mental Health!

On 1st of November 2020, the St Stephen’s Central Youth Committee (CYC) organised an open Q & A session for the youth aged 15-30. The evening proved highly successful, but resulted in many more questions being asked than there was time for answering.

In response to this success, with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Silouan of Sinope, the CYC organised a follow-up event with questions carried over from the first event. The event was again hosted by the parish of St Anthony’s, Prospect and held on the evening of Sunday, 23rd of May, and was opened with prayer by His Grace. The questions were selected from among the unanswered questions of the first evening, and all with a common theme of “mental health”.

The panelists were:

Fr Barnabas Jellings – parish priest of Sts Elizabeth and Barbara Orthodox Church (ROCOR), and a social worker with decades of experience working with difficult social situations;

Mrs Effie Georgiadis – a psychologist working for Head Space;

Fr John Psalios – parish priest of St Spyridon, Unley

The questions covered a wide range of issues within the theme of mental health, including suicide, guilt, forgiveness, confession and the Jesus Prayer. They were ably and edifyingly answered by the panellists, with each of them providing their own complementary perspective. The evening program was driven by the use of the Menti platform, using technology to enhance the interactive experience.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a CYC Youth Event without finishing up with pizza for all those in attendance.

Buoyed by the success of the evening, the CYC organisers were encouraged to continue providing events in this format. But the real challenge, as His Grace stressed in his closing statements, is to make more of it than just a single night – to take these questions (and, more importantly, the answers too) and apply them in our own lives outside of the Q & A session. We can take heart from the attendance and ongoing interest of our youth in events like this that this is something that they are striving to do.