Author Archives: Episcopal Mental Illness Network

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Mental Health Chaplaincy

A ministry of outreach and care for people with mental illness, especially those who live on the streets. Training programs for clergy and laity to develop mental health ministry within faith congregations. Based in Seattle, Washington.

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I Trust When Dark My Road

Blog by the Rev. Todd Peperkorn (Lutheran Church Missouri Synod), author of the book by the same name. A short article about the book appeared in the July 2009 issue of EMIN News.

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Diocese of Virginia Mental Health Committee

The committee’s mission is to “…seek to live out the reconciling love of Jesus by offering educational programs and networking resources so that the Church may be a welcoming sanctuary for people living with mental illness.” Their work includes helping congregations in the Diocese of Virginia find ways to include those affected by mental illness in the life of the Church, connecting parishes with local and regional volunteer opportunities, providing educational resources and events in order to eliminate the stigma of mental illness.

National Goals

  • To share useful information on mental illnesses through producing the national newsletter, EMIN News.
  • To have a contact in each diocese whose ministry is to help carry out the EMIN mission of compassionate presence and information sharing.
  • To have a website with information on mental illness, on resources to help inform families and loved ones, and to fight the stigma related to brain disorders in the church and community.
  • To create a network of interested people who will receive EMIN News and information updates electronically.

Who Is EMIN?

Although the Episcopal Mental Illness Network is a national ministry, its work is done by central Arkansas Episcopalians and concerned volunteers. EMIN founder, Caroline Stevenson, retired from EMIN work in 2010. The Rev. Bean Murray is the current coordinator.

Our History

Since 1991 the Episcopal Mental Illness Network has helped people within Episcopal faith communities find ways to connect with and provide support for persons with mental illnesses. Our goal is to provide a network so that people with mental illnesses and their families will find a loving and welcoming presence within the Church.

The EMIN grew out of the awareness of the members of the Presiding Bishop’s Task Force on Accessibility. Their work resulted in recognizing the need for all in the church to understand more about mental illness. We are called to reach out in compassion and service to those affected within our ranks and in the larger community.

The EMIN was originally funded through reimbursements for expenses from the Episcopal Church Center, but after the Task Force for Accessibility was disbanded, the EMIN has received no national funds.

We are a volunteer-run organization and completely self-supporting. The work of the EMIN is continued by contributions from individuals, congregations and dioceses throughout the country.

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Worship on the Theme of Mental Health: A Guide for the Church

This pack, which can be downloaded as a PDF document was collaboratively produced by the Church of England’s mental health group and Time to Change, a mental health advocacy organization based in the UK, and edited by the Rev. Eva McIntyre to offer “…ideas and resources for churches to plan worship on the theme of mental health.” The goal is that, through worship on the theme, congregations will be able to foster a safe environment to begin conversations about mental health.

Resolution 2000-C032: Urge Congregations to Commend and Support Mental Health Support Groups

Resolved, That the 73rd General Convention urge all congregations of the Episcopal Church to seek out and commend local members of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and other mental health support groups for their valiant struggle of many years to support and educate the general public, that many mental illnesses are brain disorders that may be treatable with new medications and other forms of treatment; and be it further

Resolved, That congregations be encouraged to read, study, and implement relevant portions of Resolution D088, entitled “Encourage Understanding of Mental Illness and Respond to the Needs of the Mentally Ill” (see explanation) adopted by the 1991 General Convention; and be it further

Resolved, That congregations offer their facilities to local members of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and other mental health support groups, for the purpose of educating and supporting family members of the mentally ill.

General Convention, Journal of the 73rd General Convention of…The Episcopal Church, Denver, 2000 (New York: General Convention, 2001), p. 610. Final text and legislative history may be accessed online through the Archives of the Episcopal Church.