Saint Ambrose CARES about YOU and our community.

More than ever before, we are living through a mental health crisis.
So many people are suffering and struggling, often silently.
They need help…mostly…they need HOPE

How we can CARE:
• learn how to ask the right/tough questions
• understand warning signs
• know what to look for among family and friends
• learn how to get help for those we love

Saint Ambrose Catholic Community is committed to serving those in need with a compassionate heart. Our Mental Health Ministry (MHM) works together to offer support, education and a network of resources for individuals and families dealing with mental health challenges. We aim to be a learning community that will increase our knowledge and understanding of mental illness and how best to respond with the care and compassion of Christ.

Stephen Ministry CARES for you.

Stephen Ministers listen, care, support, encourage, and pray with and for a person who is hurting. And in the midst of this confidential one-on-one, caring relationship, God’s healing love comes pouring through.

If someone you know is facing a crisis – large or small – and could benefit from the caring presence of a Stephen Minister, talk to one of our Stephen Leaders:  Lisa Homady at or 330.460.7315, or Carol Maline at or 330.460.7336.

Interested in becoming a Stephen Minister? Learn more.

Do you need help?

You are not alone. We are here to help.

Please call 330-460-7300 to speak to a priest at our Parish. You may also email

During Mental Illness Awareness Week, MHA will focus on sharing information about 7 major mental health conditions:

  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Eating Disorders
  • Depression (On October 10 to coincide with World Mental Health Day and National Depression Screening Day)
  • PTSD
  • Addiction/Substance Use Disorder

Take a mental health screen and encourage others to try. Each of the conditions mentioned above also coincides with a mental health screen, and each condition-specific fact you share can direct people to screening at

  • Develop a screening for a referral process from the first call or contact to know the action steps in sequence in service to those in need.
  • Develop and clarify a pathway from first contact to our MHM that includes:
  1. Gather initial information (data) re the request – who, what, when, where, demographics and why
  2. We will contact you back within 48 hours to see how you are doing and provide a referral to next steps;
  3. We will begin to build ongoing relationships with those affected by mental health challenges.
  • Ongoing contact within set interval time periods for check in and follow up (how are you doing? etc.)
  • Identify existing support groups available to plug people into where they can participate; offer follow up options for plug in support groups in the parish and outside the parish.
  • Identify when St. Ambrose needs to develop and create a support group to respond to a need that has been identified due to volume of requests (based on data – existing calls and current trends). These support groups are not permanent. They serve as a bridge to the next steps: plug in support groups.
  • Develop a network of professional facilitators for particular types of support groups as needed.
  • Screening necessary for support group placements for best fit internally and externally. This will quickly become inter-parish due to people going wherever they can to get help and services in their hour of need.
  • Education of MHM team as a Christian learning community; education of parish staff as front-line parish workers; education of parish community to lessen stigma of mental illness, expand financial and human resources and learn effective ways forward together.
  • Training on how to recognize mental illness and next steps for short-term family responses
  • Address the stigma of mental illness and mental health challenges
  • Training on how to know when you are dealing with mental health challenges or mental illness
  • Building Compelling Coalitions Internally and Externally
  1. Build a data base of agencies and organizations that provide mental health services and resources
  2. Gather key information re how best to access services and resources of mental health organizations
  3. Identify who is eligible to receive and utilize what mental health services and resources?
  • Coalition Building Relationships (networking) with organizations, agencies and mental health professionals
  • Develop a network of accompagnateur (one who walks with) who will offer belonging, support, social connection and Christian based friendship rooted in Christian community.
  • Ambrose MHM Referral phone number operates from 9:00 – 5:00. Callers outside of those times are told to contact these 24 hour hotlines: Cuyahoga Country Frontline Mobile Crisis at 216.623.6888; Medina Country Emergency Crisis Hotline 330.725.9195; Summit County Crisis Hotline 330.434.9144.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

Resources and Articles

Mental Health America is a wonderful website to educate yourself on signs and symptoms of mental illness, facts, statistics and the latest news on mental health.

B4Stage4 Philosophy

When we think about cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, we don’t wait years to treat them. We start before Stage4–we begin with prevention. So why don’t we do the same for individuals who are dealing with mental health concerns?

We believe that mental health conditions should be treated long before they reach the most critical points in the disease process, and we’re committed to addressing mental health B4Stage4.

Navigating the mental health system is complicated, frustrating, and confusing. Double board certified psychiatrist Dr. Dom explains the differences between the vast array of mental health professionals, including psychologists, psychiatrists, Certified Peer Specialists, social workers, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, and more. You’ll understand which mental health professional is right for you or your loved one and how to find the best specialist in their field.

How to Combat Homesickness, Loneliness & Anxiety During Your First Year

Leaving home for college can stressful for first-year college students. Feelings of depression, isolation, homesickness and loneliness are quite common among freshman. Research shows that as many as 75 percent of college freshman reported feelings of loneliness their first two weeks of school. Loneliness can lead to depression, which can hinder a student’s chance to excel in the classroom. The guide below looks at mental health during freshman year and provides insight and resources to help college first-timers better transition to university life.


BRUNSWICK, Ohio – What’s a parent to do? That question has been asked many times over the past week as the community tries to deal with the suicides of two high school students.

The evening of Jan. 21, several hundred people came to St. Ambrose Church to find some answers. Adults were invited into the main church while young people gathered in the chapel.

Kaitlyn Boblik, a 12-year-old middle school student said that she was trying to make sense of everything that had happened. “The second day back to school, we talked about it a lot,” she said. “We spent most of the time in choir talking about it. The day after, there was a morning announcement that if we needed to talk to someone there were counselors, the principal and vice principal we could talk to.”

She also said that an eighth grader had placed sticky notes on everyone’s locker with positive messages on them and she thought that was a great help.

Her mother, Kimberlee, is involved with the Brunswick Pride Foundation formed after the death of four students in an auto accident last year. “We’re blessed to have a community that comes together in times like these,” she said.

Rebecca Hufbach, 16, is a student at Hoban High School who belongs to an organization that lets young people talk through difficult issues. “I’m trying to find a way to help,” she said.

The Rev. Bob Stec, pastor of St. Ambrose said that it had been “a daunting week for the community,” but that it was important, as adults, to separate the issues involved and make sense of them and to give children tools to grieve and then make sure they are making healthy, good choices.”

Father Bob’s brother, David Stec, principal at Padua High School and a longtime counselor, talked about the importance of talking with children about how they’re feeling and assure them that the adults in their lives love and support them and are there for them.

“Unfortunately, there is no perfect training manual for parents. There’s no one source to help navigate the difficulties that kids face,” he said. While the emotions teens face are the same as those their parents faced, there’s so much more these students deal with.

“Put the pieces of the puzzle together,” he said. “Watch for the signs that your child is having difficulty. Tell them you love them and are there for them. Not just on birthdays or Christmas, but every day.”

He advised parents to talk to their children about their own experiences with the grieving process. This may be the first time in a child’s life he or she is feeling this emotion and they don’t know how to react. Grieving is normal, he said, but if your child was not close to the person who died and the grieving goes on for an extended length of time, seek help.

Noting it is much better to detect signs of depression early, he cautioned parents to monitor telephones and computers. “If you don’t know what’s on your child’s phone or computer, you don’t know your child,” Stec said. He said that unless you remove the phone from the child’s bedroom, there is no escape from the 24/7 onslaught. “If cyber bullying is going on, the child can’t just leave school and get away from it. It follows him wherever he goes.”

He told parents to watch for changes in mood. If teens are unhappy, it’s not unusual. But if that unhappiness continues for a long period of time and is severe and you see real change, “Get help,” he said. “Talk to your child even if they give you those one word answers.”

He said to ask open ended questions, ask about friends and activities in which they are involved. “And don’t be afraid to ask if that child has ever thought of hurting himself. If they say yes or they are talking about suicide or saying things like you’d be better off without them, take them to the emergency room right then. Don’t wait.”

Most times, it won’t be that big moment, however, he noted, but if a parent is vigilant and can step in early, it’s much easier than finding out late in the process. “Teens are unhappy,” he said, “they’re always comparing themselves to others – but not to the whole person, just to the best parts of those people. Remind them everyone is unique and point out the beautifulness or handsomeness of every kid. There are no uber-kids, but a lot of angst.

“Set good, strong, realistic goals – not too high that they can’t achieve them, but no so low they question their worth,” he said. “Most of all, just listen. If you see behavior changes, like detentions at school or drop in grades, increased swearing, lying, not coming home on time, isolating themselves from friends or changing friends … put the pieces of the puzzle together.”

Stec added, “Don’t be afraid to say you want to be sure they are not suicidal and that you are always there for them.” He added that you can also say that if they do something wrong, you will be mad at them, because you are the parent. But you love them more than you’ll be mad at them. Love your children, even though you may not always like them.”

He said the community, school and churches have trained people wanting and willing to help and to take advantage of those opportunities.

He suggested websites like and suicide prevention sites that have helpful suggestions. “Do your research,” he said.

Father Bob joined his brother, playfully punching him to bring home the point that when a child is in danger and hurting, parents need to step in and protect their children.

Community Outreach at Saint Ambrose

Our Community Outreach Ministry and group of volunteers are here for you.

Always important, especially at this time, is reaching out to others and caring for those in our community. Over the next few weeks, we invite you to get to know our beautiful Community Outreach ministry.

If you have a project you need help with – we are the people you need to call.  Call 330-460-7300 for assistance or to get involved in helping!

Mike Adams is here to let you know about home repair.

Bob Howski talking about providing safety for your home. In this case, electrical!

Diane Graham to let you know how we can help around the house with age. From grab bars to painting!

Donna Howski here to help those confined to their house because of illness or disability. One major area we help with is landscaping!