Mary Margaret Greer
How did you become involved with NFCC?
My husband and I are members of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and we are close friends with extended family of the Finnegan’s, and our children are good friends with some of Nick’s cousins. A few years ago we attended our first Crawfish Boil, and really became involved with NFCC when we were invited to chair the Tree of Life Gala in 2020.
What was it like to chair the 2020 Gala, which ultimately became a virtual event?
The theme of the 2020 gala was “Metamorphosis” which turned out to be so fitting and such an eye-opener. We learned flexibility is a must and we really couldn’t control what would happen with the gala or with anything else! The most important thing we learned is that NFCC’s work is critical to the wellbeing of so many and it’s services are essential. COVID-19 allowed us to say if NFCC can successfully provide counseling via telehealth, then we can also host a meaningful virtual event. People were really motivated to support the online event because they saw how much telehealth allowed counseling to become even more accessible and affordable.
We originally agreed to chair the gala because we love the Finnegan, McCartney and Miller families, but we also wanted to pay it forward a bit and spread the word about NFCC to our friends and family who may not have known about the counseling center. What was special about the event was the way we were able to involve our daughters and their friends. The Finnegan kids are older than ours, so my kids did not know Nick. However, they were able to participate in the virtual event and I think it helped introduce a new generation to the services NFCC offers.
I believe mental health is just so important. People are talking about it more and seem to know that it is ok to seek help. We wanted to chair to help continue to destigmatize mental healthcare. It’s ok to not be ok, and it’s ok to talk and pray about it. I used to teach 5 and 6 year olds and I had a sign in my classroom that said “Be the best you can be.” Counseling lets you be the best you can be for yourself and others.
What motivates you to continue to support NFCC and mental health counseling in general?
The fact that counseling is a must do. We must continue to care for all these people who need help. NFCC is such a wonderful resource because it will provide affordable and accessible counseling to anyone. They willingly serve the community with their time and their gifts. I also love the fact that NFCC is a ministry of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. I remember the Executive Director, Mary Elizabeth Hand, coming to speak to the church a few years ago, and that outreach to the community is so awesome. When our friends and family heard we were chairing the gala, they had such positive things to say about the counseling center. Mental health is at the forefront of everyone’s minds right now and has just become more prevalent due to COVID. I think it needs to be talked about daily. I was watching Adele’s interview with Oprah the other night and she talked about her own mental health struggles. Kudos to celebrities for talking about their struggles and being open about the fact that everyone needs to take care of themselves. I support NFCC because I want to help people and I want NFCC to continue to be a difference maker in our community. I want people to know that what NFCC does, matters.
As we head into the holidays, there are lots of things to celebrate, but they can also cause anxiety and stress. What do you personally do to take care of your own mental health?
First and foremost, I pray. I also exercise, so I spend time praying and exercising to take care of myself! Walking is so important to be present, and is so good for my mental and physical wellbeing as it lets me get outside and experience nature with family and friends. I also try to remain grateful and thankful for everything, including the unforeseen circumstances that may arise in my life. That’s what helps me.