NOW IS THE TIME to prepare for Mental Illness Awareness Week, the first week of October! This Spotlight will focus on resources and ideas to educate and support persons with a mental illness in your community.
The National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Awareness Recovery and Understanding is Tuesday, October 3. There is a free downloadable resource on our website with sample liturgies and a candlelight service that you can adapt to your community. Go to Resources and Links and click on Other Resources.
There will be screening sites across the nations. Your congregation or counseling center can register for be a screening site. Sites will receive a comprehensive kit of materials to reach out to community members in distress due to depression and anxiety. New this year, are additional suicide prevention materials, an educational video, information on sleep anxiety disorders and updated clinician education resources. For more information or to find out screening sites in your area, visit www.MentalHealthScreening.org or call 781-239-0071. This is a wonderful opportunity to let your congregation or community about this important service.
I have received a number of inquiries as to the length of our resources. They are short enough to use in a class. A discussion guide is included. All media resources feature at least two persons sharing their story as well as professionals in the area. Some resources, like Creating Caring Congregations , can be used in four different settings. The length of our resources is:
Creating Caring Congregations - 29.15 minutes
Understanding Depression - 17:42 minutes
Teenage Depression and Suicide - 15:44 minutes
Overcoming Stigma, Finding Hope - 14:26 minutes
Gifts of the Shadow - 17:15 minutes
Addiction and Depression - 17:45 minutes
Eating Disorders - 14:07 minutes
Anxiety: Overcoming Fear - 20:40 minutes
Alzheimer's: Care and Support - 17:28 minutes
Mental Illness and Families of Faith - 22:10 minutes
More information on each video tape, plus our unique Mental Health Mission Moments DVD with 2-3 minute clips from the resources above is available on our website. Each VHS resource is $20. All ten videos are available at a discounted $159.99. You can get the DVD format instead of VHS for the same price!!! The DVD usually sells for $25. Be sure to put you request in the Notes box when you pay by credit card. Contact me directly about reduced costs for multiple copies of the same resources.
A New Resource for Churches to address Biblical beliefs about mental illness and how those beliefs have changed as we have learned more about these brain disorders is available on the Resources and Links page on the Website.
Short devotions with photographs from Susan's unpublished book, The Sacred Ordinary of Daily Living , are available through the Inspiration page of our website. Many of these have been published in the journal, Sacred Journey.
Pathways to Promise continues to provide colorful posters with mental illness information on the back to faith groups that participated in the grant they received from the American Psychiatric Association. For more information visit the Pathways to Promise website at www.Pathways2Promise.org .
We are working with Pacific Media Ministry to produce a short resource on postpartum depression. PMM has taped some great interviews for a full length documentary. We plan on "repurposing" some of that tape to produce a 10-12 minute resource for churches. We do not have the funds necessary to finish this project. If you would like to be one of the sponsors of this documentary, contact Susan.
NAMI has a great new FaithNet NAMI link on their national website. You are encouraged to visit the link on the NAMI website, www.FaithNet.NAMI.org . It will be updated with national news and resources. NAMI encourages groups to contribute to the website by sending your ideas to Watkins Hamlet at Watkins@NAMI.org .
An audio tape of Susan's workshop in Washington D.C., "Mental Illness as a Spiritual Journey," is available on the FaithNet NAMI website. Running time is 1 hour and 5 minutes. You can also connect to this link on the Mental Health Ministries Website on the Conferences and Workshops page.
We can all benefit by sharing ideas or models of ministry with others. We have a new page on the website for this purpose. You can send your ideas to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or go through the Your Ideas page of the website.
See Conferences and Workshops link on the Mental Health Ministries website.
I am excited about speaking at the NAMI South Carolina Annual Conference. The event will be held November 3-5 at the Hilton Oceanfront Resort, in Hilton Head, South Carolina. The theme of this year's conference is Recovery: Dream to Reality.
From 3:15 - 4:30pm on Friday, I will host a special reception and workshop for the clergy. NAMI South Carolina encourages clergy and others from the faith community to attend this free event. On Sunday morning, I will open the day with a devotional from 8:15 - 8:45am, and close the day and the conference with a plenary on the role faith communities play in helping people with mental illnesses. For more information contact Dave Almeida at David.Almeida@namisc.org .
Since I will be on the east coast, the newly formed United Methodist Committee on Disability Concerns with the North Carolina Conference has invited me to conduct a one day fall conference for clergy and laity on November 7, 2006, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 (ET) in Raleigh, NC. Ann Johnson, Faith Based Outreach Coordinator for the MHA in North Carolina will also be speaking. This conference is also sponsored by NAMI North Carolina and North Carolina Mental Health Association. For more information, contact Dr. John Crowe at DrCrowe1@cs.com or you can register online by going to www.nccmentalhealth.org .
I hope you will find some helpful resources...both media and downloadable articles and brochures on the Mental Health Ministries website. The months of October and May are opportunities to lift up mental health issues in your community.