White House Holds National Mental Health Conference
Faith Groups Pledge to Raise Awareness
On June 3, at the National Conference on Mental Health, President Barak Obama applauded the dozens of commitments made by organizations representing media, educators, health care providers, faith communities, and foundations to increase understanding and awareness of mental health.
The National Conference on Mental Health was designed to increase understanding and awareness of mental health. As part of this effort, the Administration launched mentalhealth.gov, a new, consumer-friendly website with clear and concise tools to help with the basics of mental health, the signs of mental illness, how to talk about mental health, and how to get help. The website also includes a series of videos featuring celebrities and ordinary Americans whose lives have been touched by mental illness.
Recognizing that the government cannot do this alone, the Administration applauded commitments from private sector and non-profit organizations in five key areas. One of the areas included “launching new conversations in our houses of worship and other faith-based institutions to help people recognize mental health problems and access the treatment they need.”
Faith groups from across the country have committed to launch new conversations on mental health by taking steps such as:
- Including a message about mental health in a worship service or other event and providing congregants with bulletin inserts on mental health issues;
- Developing and disseminating toolkits with resources such as discussion starters to help members continue the conversation about mental health outside of worship services;
- Organizing a session on mental health awareness at an upcoming national conference.
Nearly thirty denominations and faith groups pledged to take action in their communities as part of the national dialogue. Episcopal Health Ministries and Pathways to Promise (which has Episcopal representation) were among the many groups recognized in a White House press release.