Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Power Weekend Addresses Mental Health

Story by Tamyra Horst

“One in three teens struggle with anxiety disorders,” states Burney Culpepper, principal of Pennsylvania Conference's Blue Mountain Academy (BMA). “Mental health is foundational to our overall well-being, but it feels like resources and a safe space to talk about the issues we face can be hard to find. Our recent mental health weekend laid a biblical foundation that will help our students cope with this growing health issue.”

At BMA’s recent “Peace of Mind” mental health conference, students and church members from around the area discovered practical help on topics like depression and anxiety from breakouts on “Disappointment, Depression and Deliverance,” “Healing From Hurtful Habits,” “Self-Identity” and “CALM: A Recipe for Peace in Times of Chaos.”

Sponsored by BMA, the Adventist WholeHealth Network and the Pennsylvania Conference, presenters included K’dee Elsen, a clinical psychologist at Loma Linda University (Calif); Dee Casper (pictured), director for the conference’s CORE Evangelism Training Program; Rick Christman, executive director for Adventist WholeHealth Network; Erica Jones, assistant Women’s Ministries director for the North American Division; and Brandon Taylor, director for Love at Home Ministries.

“Blue Mountain Academy is committed to growing students, not just academically, but spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally,” says Culpepper. Power weekends are scheduled throughout the school year on a variety of topics, designed to intentionally equip and inspire young people in their daily lives. Learn more at

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