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Interfaith Prayer Service Set For Oct. 8 at St. Michael Church in Wheeling

St. Michael Parish and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Wheeling will co-host an interfaith service to pray for families struggling with mental illness.

The service will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in St. Michael Church, 1225 National Road in Wheeling and all are welcome. This service has been held every year for more than a decade as part of National Mental Illness Awareness Week.

The prayer service, which will be led by the Rev. Martin Smay, is part of St. Michael Parish’s stewardship activities.

This year’s speaker will be attorney Sandy Williams, who became passionately engaged in suicide prevention and awareness activities after she lost her father to suicide in 2011.

Since that time, she has been avidly committed to removing the stigma that surrounds mental health issues to allow honest conversations about suicide; educating the community on suicide and suicide prevention; and assisting other suicide survivors to cope with the unique pain and grief that accompanies a suicide loss.

Everyone who attends the vigil will have the opportunity to light a prayer candle in honor of a friend or loved one who suffers with mental illness.

Refreshments will be served at an informal social gathering following the service. For questions, call Kathleen Dieffenbaugher, St. Michael Parish stewardship director, at 304-242-1560.

The prayer service follows up on the theme of the Out of the Darkness Northern Panhandle Community Walk to Fight Suicide being held at 5:15 p.m. today at Wheeling Park. All are welcome to attend and gather at the Schwertfeger Shelter at the park.

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