Lacey Professionals Present Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program

August 20, 2016

When the Nedley Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program leaders planned their fifth Lacey-area community outreach program, they did not know so many participants would travel from so far away to attend. 

A couple had attended from Tacoma, Wash., during the first year of the program. And another two people had attended from Shelton during another session. A few came from Chehalis during the 2012 session.

However, this year had even more guests from other towns. Four people commuting from the Grays Harbor area had perfect attendance. Two more came from Chehalis, and two also came from Shelton to view the new Neil Nedley DVD series and experience psychiatrist Edward Case, who specializes in treating anxiety and depression, as one of the co-directors of the program. 

Beginning with the free introductory program on Feb. 9, the Lacey Church presented the Nedley Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program as a community outreach, followed by a banquet on April 19 for the 22 participants, their guests and the 12 helpers who assisted with the seminars. The only costs for the attendees were for the books and materials for the program. As one participant remarked, "I could not have asked for a more friendly and helpful group of people to support my journey to recovery." 

Led by Case and his father, Ronald Case, a retired allergist, and assisted weekly by Edward Case's mother, Joan Case, each weekly seminar started with the new DVD series by Neil Nedley. Before the DVD, most evenings included sampling healthful foods shown to improve mood, followed by the DVD and then a discussion led by either Edward or Ronald Case.

Later the participants divided into two small groups led by facilitators Kevin Fedak and the Cases. In the small groups, the attendees discussed the lesson for the day, reported on their progress and were given a preview of what was to come in the following lessons.

During the first session, participants were given a pretest. At the end of the eighth class, they were given a post-test, in which most of them reported a great deal of mood improvement.

"Having these health professionals and volunteers donate their time to a life-improving community service for over eight weeks has contributed to the success of this program," reports Ronald Case.

"It opened my eyes to many ideas to incorporate into my daily life, such as listening to classical music, drinking adequate water, reading and contemplating the book of Proverbs, eating better, and exercising," says one attendee. Another person reported that the holistic approach to mental health in the program helped them identify life stressors and how to minimize their impact, including by listening to classical music at work.

Another noted she had learned that light therapy in the morning affected her ability to sleep through the night. Another participant noted that she "liked being able to try different recipes and be opened up to more of a variety of plant-based food."

"I feel a little better and look forward to being free from depression," says one attendee. "The homework was thought-provoking." Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program helpers noted most of the participants left the banquet program feeling much improvement from when they entered this community outreach program in February. 

At the banquet on April 19, attendees were presented with graduation certificates, the results of their post-test, some spiritual materials and recipes used for the buffet. Many of the plant-based recipes were from Neil Nedley's book Depression — the Way Out, which was the major textbook for the series. 

Several church members volunteered their time and energy to present the attendees and other helpers with a beautifully decorated and prepared vegetarian buffet dinner to celebrate the participants having finished the program. A 20-week follow-up on July 5 was a chance to see how the attendees are doing and to discuss plans for future possible Bible studies in the book of Daniel. 

Joan Case, Lacey Church Nedley Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program administration assistant