Nursing Spirituality Seminar

September 4, 2007
Kathy Miller, 661/654-2456, or
Michele Newel, 661/654-2720,

The California State University, Bakersfield alumni nursing chapter is holding its second annual "Spirituality in Mental Health" seminar Monday, Sept. 24, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Doré Theater at CSUB.

The seminar will provide practitioners, spiritual advisors and families with insight and tools to provide stability and strength to those who are emotionally and physically ill.

Pamala McCarver, president of the CSUB alumni nursing chapter and registered nurse, has organized the event for the second year in a row. "Those of us that help people daily with mental disorders struggle with finding ways to re-energize ourselves," she explained. "I have discovered that as I care for my soul I am more effective in providing stability, strength, and a sense of hope to those who are emotionally and physically ill. My hope is that this seminar will nurture the audience's spirit and give us all hope as we care for people who are in great need of not only care for their mind and body, but also care for their soul."

And these types of discussions are important to have "because the public tends to see a mentally ill person only when the person is clearly psychotic or has been abandoned on our streets," McCarver said. "The mentally ill are burdened with stigmas and prejudices that only education can silence. I hope the issues that will be covered during the presentations will lead to discussion and action within our community so that we can better serve the people who struggle with diseases of the mind. But more importantly we treat each person individually in a way that will make a difference for the mentally ill in their own life."

Guest speakers include Edward Shafranske, psychology professor and director of the doctorate in clinical psychology program at Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology. Shafranske is a past member of the American Psychological Association Council of Representatives. With doctoral degrees in clinical psychology and psychoanalysis, he is a faculty member of the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute (SCPI). He has served in the mental health field for over 28 years and written extensively on spiritual oriented psychotherapy. He will be addressing religious and spiritual issues in clinical practice throughout the United States and abroad.

Guest speaker Pete Earley is the author of "Crazy: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness," an emotional story of his college age son whose is stricken by a severe mental illness. "Crazy" received second place in the recent Pulitzer Prize awards for nonfiction books.

Earley a former reporter for The Washington Post, had written extensively about the criminal justice system. But it was only when his son in a manic episode broke into a neighbor's house and took a bath in her tub that he discovered what happens to mentally ill people who break the law while psychotic. Earley believes that "people with severe mental disorders should not have to become criminals in order to get meaningful treatment."

He has published 10 books including "The Hot House: Life Inside Leavenworth Prison," which is a New York Times best selling book.

The seminar also is an opportunity to raise funds for a new nursing building on the CSUB campus. McCarver added: "The seminars have been successful in creating awareness within our community for the need for a new building. My hope is that someone with the power and means will be able to provide an adequate building so future nursing students can learn in a productive environment."

Early registration for the seminar costs $25 and includes syllabus materials and a continental breakfast. Registration after Thursday, Sept. 13, is $50. Parking is free for the event on the north end of campus near the Doré Theater or the soccer fields.

Partners include KGET TV 17, Henrietta Weill Memorial Child Guidance Clinic, Adventist Health and San Joaquin Community Hospital.

For additional information or to register, please contact McCarver at (661) 331-3789 or [ ] .