- 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.
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.
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.
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.
Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That members of the Episcopal Church are encouraged to become knowledgeable about mental illness in order to reduce stigma and stereotypes which are prevalent within the Church body and the Community-at-large; and be it further
Resolved, That the Episcopal Church and all its units and organizations, be encouraged to reach out, welcome, include and support persons with a mental illness, particularly those who have a prolonged, serious mental illness, and the families of those persons, and recognize the abilities and celebrate the gifts of those who have a mental illness; and be it further
Resolved, That the church encourage the development of specific programs to equip the clergy and laity for ministry to the mentally ill and their families and that clergy and lay ministers seek out training and opportunities to minister to the spiritual needs of those who are affected by a mental illness; and be it further
Resolved, That dioceses and congregations work with existing agencies and organizations to assist with and initiate programs, such as support groups, drop-in centers, housing and employment opportunities, which lead to an improved quality of life for people who have a mental illness, with specific attention to those who have become homeless; and be it further
Resolved, That dioceses, congregations and individual parishioners become advocates for public policy and adequate funding to provide comprehensive community-based services, hospital care and research into the causes and treatment of mental illness; and be it further
Resolved, That dioceses, congregations and individuals utilize the resources and support services offered by the Episcopal Mental Illness Network (EMIN) of the Presiding Bishop’s Task Force on Accessibility.
General Convention, Journal of the 70th General Convention of…The Episcopal Church, Phoenix, 1991 (New York: General Convention, 1992), p. 822. Final text and legislative history may be accessed online through the Archives of the Episcopal Church.