A summary report of the Dialogue Meeting between mental health consumers and members of faith-based and community organizations held in Baltimore, Maryland on October 28-29, 2002 is now available. This meeting was sponsored by CMHS (Center for Mental Health Services) and SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). Twenty leaders in the area of advocacy to and through the Faith Community for the benefit of those with a mental illness and seven members of the CMHS staff participated. (It is my recollection that the seven staff members all had a mental illness or had a family member with one these disorders and had a relationship with the Faith Community.)
The report is in the form of a booklet and is titled “Building Bridges.” It identifies characteristics and issues related to interactions between mental health consumers and members of faith-based and community organizations. It summarizes recommendations for achieving better mutual understanding and creating partnerships to promote recovery among persons with mental illnesses. It underscores the importance of faith and spirituality in this recovery process.
You can receive a free copy of the report from SAMHSA’s National Mental Health Information Center at (800) 789-2647. Also, the report is available through the web at www.samhsa.gov.