NAMI FaithNet has programs and presentations designed specifically to assist NAMI State Organization and NAMI Affiliate leaders with their faith outreach efforts. The NAMI website is in transition but you can find links to these training modules in the Program and Presentation section of the NAMI FaithNet Home page, www.nami.org/faithnet
Bridges of Hope is a three-part PowerPoint presentation created for NAMI members and friends who wish to speak to people of faith. Bridges of Hope is used to create stronger connections and safety nets for people living with serious mental illness in and through faith communities.
Reaching Out to Faith Communities is a four-part training curriculum provided by NAMI FaithNet to encourage and equip NAMI members to engage with and share their story and NAMI resources with local faith groups.
Sharing Hope is an outreach and education initiative, offered through NAMI’s Multicultural Action Center, aiming to create partnerships in African American faith communities.
Pathways to Promise offers
The Companionship Series that consists of three booklets that guide faith communities in developing caring responses to individuals and families coping with the challenges posed by mental illness. You can purchase the entire Companionship Series through Pathways to Promise, www.pathways2promise.org, for $25.
Mental Health Ministry: An Introduction – The first booklet in the series provides an overview of the mental health challenges families face across the lifespan and that all faith communities face. This introductory booklet describes the basic structures of mental health ministry that can be developed to help people cope with mental illnesses and related challenges. It provides an introduction to the next two booklets in the series – The Way of Companionship and Organizing a Congregational Mental Health Team.
The Way of Companionship – Companionship is at the heart of a community’s caring response. The Companionship ministry described in this booklet was developed by Rev. Craig Rennebohm, a Mental Health Chaplain who for more than two decades worked on the streets of Seattle providing assistance to people experiencing mental illnesses and substance use challenges. Companionship includes listening, sharing the journey with a person side-by-side, neighboring (acknowledging our common humanity), providing hospitality, and helping develop a “circle of care.” This booklet describes how to develop and nurture these vital practices of companionship.
Organizing a Congregational Mental Health Team – A group of people dedicated to ensuring the community’s ongoing attention to mental health issues and to providing leadership in the development of caring responses is indispensable to the ongoing sustainability of mental health ministry. The Mental Health Team connects people to resources inside and outside of the faith community, identifies and plans necessary educational events for the congregation, and ensures the provision of support to people experiencing mental health challenges. This booklet also explains the ideal composition of the Mental Health Team and its accountable connection to authoritative structures of the community.
By Rev. Barbara F. Meyers
The document “Mental Health Information for Ministers” was developed by Rev. Barbara F. Meyers after ministers told her that they needed information on mental health that they could use to look up something quickly as mental health issues came up. Rev. Meyers has a ministry focused on mental health (www.mpuuc.org/mentalhealth). She created the document so that ministers would have to look at only two pages for each kind of mental health situation – giving the symptoms, suggestions for the ministers, and a list of resources. It is now on the denominational reading list for candidates for the Unitarian Universalist ministry, but the content of the document is suitable to all religious traditions.