The Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder, coordinator of Mental Health Ministries (MHM), has added new information on spirituality/faith and suicide to the resource section of the MHM website (www.mentalhealthministries.net.) You will find a lot of practical materials that you can share with your congregations. Here are some of them:
- “How Faith Communities Can Provide Hope and Promote Healing” is a downloadable brochure also available in Spanish.
- “The Role of Faith Leaders in Suicide Prevention: A Guidebook for Faith Leaders” can be downloaded at the Mental Health Ministries site as a PDF file.
Pathways to Promise (www.pathways2promise.org) has posted new materials relating to suicide that you might find helpful. See the link on their page called “There is still time.”
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.
Recordings Available On-Line
The theme of this year’s Widening the Welcome conference was “God’s Vision: The Great Dinner is Open for All.” If you would like to hear any of the presentations, go to www.wideningthewelcome.com and click on “Resources.”
Widening the Welcome is an annual conference of the United Churches of Christ ministry for people with mental illness or disability.
EMIN News readers might want to explore the wealth of information available on the website of the National Episcopal Health Ministries (NEHM) at www.episcopalhealthministries.org.
According to the website, NEHM’s vision is “that every Episcopal congregation becomes a vibrant, caring place of health and wholeness.” Its mission is “to promote health ministry in Episcopal congregations, assisting them to reclaim the Gospel imperative of health and wholeness.”
The NEHM serves by educating leaders for Episcopal health ministry and parish nursing; supporting those engaged in health ministry in Episcopal congregations through membership opportunities; providing resources to local congregations, dioceses, and provinces; and collaborating with other faith communities, institutions, and health organizations.
The NEHM CEO, Matthew Ellis, gave us a chance to blog about EMIN and mental illness issues in May for Mental Health Month. We look forward to other opportunities to partner with NEHM.
“Developing the capacity of congregations to support recovery and wellness with individuals and families facing serious mental health issues.”
NEW — 3 STEPS TO A MENTAL HEALTH MINISTRY
If you want to concentrate on developing a mental health ministry in your congregation and community, go to Pathways2Promise for the Mental Health Ministry Training resource site. Many resources in a variety of formats may be downloaded from this Pathways to Promise (P2P) page.
You will find three downloadable presentations in various formats:
- Mental Health 101: An Introduction to Mental Health Ministry
- Organizing a Mental Health Team in Your Congregation
- Companionship: A Ministry of Presence
You will also find a PRESENTER’S GUIDE for each course to help you offer these trainings in your congregation. The presenter’s guides may be used as a self-study by clergy and congregational leaders or as a small group resource for training mental health team members and companionship care teams.
You will also find:
- Congregation Survey to help you identify mental health concerns and interests of your congregation
- Mental Health Ministry – A Toolkit for Congregations to help you with practical activity
- A Local Mental Health Training Cooperative describing how you can work with neighboring congregations and community allies to build a network of caring congregations
Pathways to Promise wants to know about your efforts. If you do a small study group or offer a presentation in your congregation, P2P would like to get copies of the survey and evaluation forms you use, along with your location and a list of the participants and their roles (clergy, laity, family member, peer, mental health provider, etc.) This will help P2P evaluate and revise these trainings and develop additional resources.
Please send any correspondence to:
Pathways to Promise
5400 Arsenal St.
St. Louis, MO 63139
*from NAMI FAITHNET: National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness
NAMI FAITHNET TRAINING MODULES.
Reaching Out to Congregations is a four-part training tool provided by NAMI FaithNet, an educational outreach to faith communities of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The goal of Reaching out to Congregations is to better equip NAMI members and leaders to build bridges with local faith groups. The content was written in response to common questions like: Why should we reach out to faith communities? How do we handle differing views of mental illness or stigmatizing remarks? How do I get started?
The long-range goal of NAMI FaithNet outreach is to promote supportive faith communities where awareness, welcome, inclusion, support, and spiritual care for individuals and families facing mental illness is provided.
Four Parts of Reaching out to Congregations:
- Laying the Foundation provides basic information about NAMI FaithNet, its interfaith dialogue approach and religious diversity. This section also explains the value of outreach to congregations and the community impact of untreated mental illness.
- Opening the Door explores the impact of mental illness on individuals and what basic spiritual care encompasses. Suggestions are offered for starting informal conversations with people of faith and building advocacy, awareness, and support within a congregation.
- NAMI FaithNet: Sharing Your Story provides training for those who want to more effectively tell their story about mental illness and the role of NAMI and the faith community in their journey.
- Looking Ahead & Following Up offers tips on the team approach and how to respond to stigmatizing remarks, differing beliefs, and other challenges unique to faith community outreach.
Reaching Out to Faith Communities is offered via PowerPoint and intended for self-study while viewing with the NOTES function. While the four sections are designed to be used consecutively and as a whole, they each can be studied independently. In addition, the material is also presented via a two-part webinar series. Support documents referenced in the curriculum are also included. It is available on the NAMI FaithNet site (www.nami.org/namifaithnet).