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Keynote Address: Outpatient Mental Health Needs of the Plain Community
Speaker: Marie Spinelli, LCSW, Philhaven Hospital
The Plain Community title refers to religious beliefs based in an Anabaptist tradition of simplicity, nonresistance, and Christ centered life-style. Some of these Anabaptist/Plain Communities groups include the Amish, Horse and Buggy Mennonite, German Baptist, Dunkard, and other sub-sects. Within these communities, there has been a historical resistance to mental health treatment based on tradition, culture, and understanding. This resistance is slowly changing. The need for mental health treatment exists and continues to grow. Philhaven Hospital’s Plain Communities Outpatient Clinic has helped bridge the needs of this community with our respect for Anabaptist tradition.
Philhaven’s Plain Communities Outpatient Clinic evolved in 2005 to address the unique needs of the traditional Anabaptist/ Plain Communities. This clinic, in concert with the plain community, works together to address and improve the mental health of this sect’s current and future generations while respecting their culture, tradition, and values. The specialized Plain Communities Outpatient Clinic addresses community, commitment and tradition, through the process of collaborating with family, lay persons, church members, and community leaders.
The keynote address will explain the Philhaven clinic’s role in addressing the continual challenge of how the Plain Community works to hold sacred their ideals of a cohesive community through tradition while improving the mental health of their members. How the parallel and different approaches by both the Plain Communities Outpatient Clinic team and the Plain Community intersect to provide new hope and healing for those receiving treatment will also be discussed.
Presenter Bio: Marie Spinelli, MSW, LCSW received her MSW from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond in 1980.
Ms. Spinelli’s experiences in the field of Social Work include adoption social work, medical social work, social service coordinator, and outpatient social worker.
In 2002, Ms. Spinelli returned to her Lebanon County roots as a therapist in the Mt Gretna Outpatient Clinic of Philhaven Hospital. Over the last 11 years Ms. Spinelli has worked as a Philhaven Social Work Consultant to area nursing homes and presently as a social worker for Philhaven Plain Communities Outpatient Clinic (PCoptC).
Ms. Spinelli has presented educational seminars on “What Causes Mental Illness” and “Coping with a Loved One’s Mental Illness” for the family and friends of clients receiving treatment at the PCoptC . Marie is one of several therapists who lead both process and psycho-educational groups for the clients at the PCoptC. Some of these topics include dealing with grief, understanding depression, calming anxiety and panic, the process of forgiveness, handling symptoms of mental illness, relapse and the process of change.