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As we all prepare for Mental Health Month in May, Mental Health Ministries has many things going on. These Updates are only sent out about four times a year so as not to overwhelm you with a large number of e-mails. We hope you find them helpful in your various ministries.
Another new downloadable brochure on clergy self-care has been added to our website. It is entitled “Self-Care Tips for Clergy: Providing Pastoral Care to Persons with Mental Illness and Their Family” by Frank Schaefer with www.desperatepreacher.com.
Rev. Rose Ann Briotte’s brochure, “Guidelines for Clergy: Providing Pastoral Care to Persons with Mental Illness and Their Family,” continues to be a popular addition to our website.
Susan will be one of the speakers at the FaithCep of NAMI Indianapolis “Mending the Mind & Mending the Soul,” on May 3, 2005. Contact person is Carole Wills at CaroleJWills@aol.com.
Mental Health Ministries has put together a team for the national NAMI Walk program to be held in San Diego on April 16, 2005.
A number of churches are using my book, In the Shadow of God’s Wings: Grace in the Midst of Depression ($10), as a four week study. This book and the accompanying Group Discussion Guide ($7) are available from The Upper Room at 1-800-972-0433. On a side note, I have a collection of pastoral prayers, Prayers for a Sojourning People ($11.95), available from Educational Ministries, Inc. at 1-800-221-0910.
Our Advisory Committee has chosen to address postpartum issues and emotional issues surrounding pregnancy and childbirth (for both the mother and father) as our next focus. We are working with a Lutheran doctor who will be writing a brochure on this issue for our website. Mental Health Ministries is planning on putting together a packet on PPD issues for church leaders. We are also working with Pacific Media Ministry to explore possibilities of producing a short 10 minute resource for clergy to use at baptism education classes.
I have been nominated by Telecare, Inc., a national mental health provider organization, to receive a Mental Health Recognition Award at a banquet in June for my work in spirituality and mental illness.
I had the opportunity to speak with state campaign leaders for the National Mental Health Association in San Francisco, California, in January. It is gratifying to see national groups like NMHA and NAMI recognizing the important role our faith communities can play in supporting persons with a mental illness and their families.
A new ABC-TV documentary on mental illness is being produced by Mennonite Media and the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission for the National Council of Churches. I have been asked to be one of the persons interviewed. Filming will take place in late May and the documentary will be shown in December of this year.
We are hoping to receive some funding from a church grant to do a study using our new DVD resource, “Mental Health Mission Moments.” The study would provide 100 churches with this resource. They would agree to do a pre and post assessment of the parishioners to determine changes in attitudes about mental illness after education from this DVD. We are also hoping to have this resource available on Amazon.com soon. Our vision is to make this resource to seminary students since studies have shown that educating persons before they begin their ministry is most effective.
Excerpts from this resource to help clergy in worship planning will be available on the United Methodist Discipleship Resources website at www.gbod.org.
I continue to be on the Board of Directors for our production partner, Pacific Media Ministry, Pathways to Promise and am considering membership on the Board of the San Diego Chapter of the Mental Health Association.
NOTE: My position as Coordinator of Mental Health Ministries is a “volunteer” ministry as I receive no compensation for this work. While this ministry is endorsed by the California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, we depend on small church grants, donations, sponsorships of our resources and the sale of our resources for our continued work in the area of spirituality and mental illness. We have been designated as an Advance Special under the Conference Board of Church and Society. I am terrible at fund raising, but we are most grateful for any financial support or interest in supporting a particular project. Your tax deductible checks can be made out to Mental Health Ministries and sent to the address below.
Now is the time to plan for Mental Health Month! There are free downloadable resources available on our website. “Creating Caring Congregations” and “Mental Illness and Families of Faith” continue to be our most popular videos.
I encourage you to visit our website at www.MentalHealthMinistries.net as you look ahead to Mental Health Month in May.
Grace and peace,