If you would like to download this update to spread the MHM news, please click here (Word Document)
We hope that you are finding ways to raise awareness about mental health issues during this Mental Health Month. We have reorganized our website, www.MentalHealthMinistries.net, to highlight some new resources and ideas.
Downloadable Resources - On the Resource page, we have added a section called DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCES. You will find attachments for brochures, articles, and a bulletin insert. A new article with excerpts from Susan's book , "In the Shadow of God's Wings," is now available in a pdf and Word file for download. (article is from the April/May 2005 issue of Sacred Journey, the journal of Fellowship of Prayer)
Website Links - You are encouraged to use our website links, like FaithNet NAMI and Pathways to Promise, that are now listed on a separate Resource page. We try to include links that are directly related to spirituality and mental illness.
New Brochure - A new brochure has been added, "Self-Care Tips for the Clergy Family." We have a special interest in clergy self-care issues and educating congregations to be caring and supportive of clergy families when they are going through a difficult time for whatever reason. This brochure has been re-formatted into a brochure from an article by Rev. Frank Schaefer.
Grant Information - Mental Health Ministries has been awarded a grant from a special Jubilee Fund from the California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. The grant, "Conference Churches United for Mental Health Education," will provide our DVD resource, Mental Health Mission Moments , to 100 churches at no cost. Participating churches will agree to use a two part pre and post assessment tool regarding attitudes about mental illness in their congregations. Local churches will have the choice of how and when to use this resource. We have posted this short grant proposal on the website because there may be some ideas that you can adapt to your situation. There is also a registration flyer to be one of the 100 participating churches is you are in the California-Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Postpartum Depression Packet - Last Update we reported that our Advisory Committee is looking for ways to address postpartum issues and the emotional issues surrounding pregnancy and childbirth. We are applying for a small grant called, "Breaking the Silence - Spirituality and Postpartum Depression." It proposes two projects. The first would provide each church in the San Diego District with a packet of resources, handouts and referral information. Our churches celebrate the birth but rarely address the emotional aftermath of childbirth. Clergy can be educated to recognize the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression. We see Baptism preparation classes as one opportunity to address these issues. "Mentoring couples" can be assigned to the new family as means of extra support . Even those this grant is not yet funded, we have included it on the website.
Postpartum Depression Seminar - The second part of this proposal would be to do a seminar on the mental health issues surrounding pregnancy and childbirth. Because San Diego is a military town and many women are giving birth while the father is deployed, there would be an intentional outreach to these families. This grant proposal will be added to the website in the near future. We also hope to have a downloadable brochure on postpartum depression for use in faith communities.
Poems and Prayers - There are new prayers, quotations and photographs on this page of our website. There are also some new pictures on the Events page of our NAMI Walk on April 16, 2005. And we are adding pictures from the "Mending the Mind, Mending the Spirit" conference sponsored by NAMI FaithCEP of Indianapolis on May 3, 2005 to our Events page.
ABC-TV Documentary - 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. They will also be interviewing my husband and others involved in my journey. Filming will take place in late May and the documentary will be shown in December of this year. We will provide more information as it becomes available.
Worship Resources - Resources to help clergy in worship planning are available on the United Methodist Discipleship Resources website at www.gbod.org/worship.
We are still in Mental Health Month, but we want you to mark your calendars for the National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding on October 4, 2005 as part of Mental Illness Awareness Week that is the first week in October. We will continue to update you on events surrounding mental health awareness and resources to use in helping to erase the stigma of mental illness in our faith communities.
Grace and peace,