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National Alliance on Mental Illness
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NAMI FaithNet Newsletter: February 2009

In This Issue:

  • SAMHSA faith resources
  • A plea from within the Jewish community
  • Oases of Peace
  • Partnering Faith Communities and Public Health
  • When a Friend Commits Suicide

Mental Health Links Faith and Spirituality

SAMHSA's National Mental Health Information Center has published a useful list of organizations and other online resources related to mental health and spirituality.

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Combating Stigma: Mental Illness in a Jewish World

A plea from within the Jewish community to embrace differences and change perceptions of mental illness.

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Oases of Peace

Episcopal churches and schools in Annapolis, MD are partnering with the TKF Foundation to create open spaces that become sacred places based on the conviction that nature is a healing and unifying force.

The Episcopal Church has a long history of outreach to the healing communities in the area, most notably in its sponsorship and support of St. Luke's House for those recovering from mental illness.

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Partnering Faith Communities and Public Health on Crisis Team

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District is forming a team of volunteers to tend to people's psychological and spiritual needs after major disasters. The idea dates back to 2005, when Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita struck. When activated, the team will counsel, pray with and perform psychological assessments on disaster victims.

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When A Friend Commits Suicide

After losing a loved one to suicide, Ruth Guggenheim remained respectful of Jewish tradition and its strong stance against suicide, but noted that rabbis no longer generally apply strict interpretations in suicide matters.

"The rabbis of the Torah didn't realize then that it was about mental health," she said. "When the Torah was addressing the concept, [suicide] wasn't recognized as an illness. So we've all become more human in our outlook. It comes down to chemical imbalance, and it's instigated by what a person is going through psychologically."

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