National Alliance on Mental Illness
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NAMI FaithNet Newsletter: July 2007
FaithNet at NAMI Convention
On June 21, over 100 people gathered for the FaithNet networking session at the 2007 NAMI national convention in San Diego.
Presenters included Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder of Mental Health Ministries, Angela Vickers, JD, author of Brain Bondage -- The Delay in Mental Illness Recovery, Pat Doyle, Education Director for NAMI DuPage, Carol Green, BeFriender minister, and Carole Wills, Faith Communities Education Project (Faith CEP) chairperson and president of NAMI Indianapolis.
The faith community was also represented at a resource booth in the exhibit hall, and at an interfaith worship service at the close of the convention.
Thanks to all who planned, presented, exhibited, led, and participated in these events.
American Muslims struggle with mental health issues
In a recent article from Southern California InFocus, California's largest Muslim newspaper, staff writer Roqaya Eshmawi writes about the experience of mental illness within the American Muslim community.
The article presents the stories of several Muslims who are living with mental illness, and addresses stigma within Muslim community, as well as what resources are available for support. Read more…
New booklet for faith community outreach
Deacon Tom and Rita Lambert of the Commission on Mental Illness of the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago have produced a brief but comprehensive booklet for equipping faith communities for mental illness ministries.
Sections within this 22-page guide include an overview of the needs of people and families affected by mental illness, the role that the faith community can play, theological bases for a faith response, and practical resources such as sample prayers, newsletter articles, and workshops. Download the guide now.
Online poll results: Have your clergy been trained?
The results of the first FaithNet online poll are in.
Last month in this newsletter, we posed the following question: Thinking about your particular faith community (church, mosque, synagogue, temple, etc.), have your clergy received specific training in how to minister to individuals and families living with serious mental illness?
Of the 82 responses received, the results are:
It is clear that there is still much work to be done by those of us who are advocates. Given that almost 1 in 5 respondents did not know the answer to the question, a good place to start for some might be to find out how much your clergy know by taking the time to ask them.
The next step is to find ways to help your clergy become more familiar with mental illness. You may wish to use this sample letter as a way to introduce the topic and to make yourself available as a resource.
For an example of how clergy outreach can be accomplished on the local level, read this article about what NAMI Utah is doing. And if you are providing or are aware of clergy training in your area, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will repeat this survey next year to see what progress has been made.
Save the date! National Day of Prayer
Mark your calendars now for the 4th annual National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding. Held on the Tuesday of Mental Illness Awareness Week, this year the date will be October 9, 2007.
It is not too early to begin planning for this day within your faith community. To learn more and access resources, visit the Day of Prayer page on the FaithNet Web site.