While National Mental Awareness Week is the first week in October, many conferences, worship services and screening events are being held throughout September and October. This Spotlight includes only a few of those opportunities. Visit the Mental Health Ministries website at www.MentalHealthMinistries.net for media resources, free downloadable resources and links to other websites.
NAMI is hosting a one-hour teleconference on Friday, September 15 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on MIAW Resources for the Faith Community. Discussion topics will include resources and toolkits for the faith community; media and outreach tools; resources on the Web; and information about the National Day of Prayer. Speakers will include Carole Wills, FaithCEP of NAMI Indianapolis; Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder, Coordinator, Mental Health Ministries, California; and Margaret Ann Holt of the Virginia Interfaith Committee on Mental Illness Ministries (VICOMIM). The call is free, but you must register. To register contact Carmen@nami.org for call information and a list of resources to review prior to the call.
Shadow Voices: Finding Hope in Mental Illness, a one-hour documentary produced by the National Council of Churches, through Mennonite Media, is a helpful tool for stimulating discussion about mental illness, both inside congregations and as part of broader civic education programs. Shadow Voices will air on Hallmark Channel on Oct. 8, 2006, at 7 a.m. ET/PT, 6 a.m. CT. Encourage your faith community to tune in. My husband and I were interviewed for this documentary on how a spouse copes with a loved one’s mental illness. Some of our resources are included in the backup material for purchase through Mennonite Media. (www.ShadowVoices.com)
Interfaith services are being planned for Tuesday, October 3. Many churches are incorporating information on mental illness in the Sunday morning worship service, October 15, since October 8 is National Communion Sunday. 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. (www.MentalHealthMinistries.net) Our resource, Mental Health Mission Moments, is highlighted this month and includes many helpful resources to use any time of year. Visit our Home Page.
Rest Ministries has designated September 11-17, as a time to lift up mental illness as an invisible illness. They are providing excellent articles, resources and links. For a complete list of events and resources, visit http://www.invisibleillness.com or call 888-751-7378.
National Depression Screening Day (NDSD) will be held on October 5, but some areas of the country are using different days. There will be screening sites across the nations. 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.
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 .
See Conferences and Workshops link on the Mental Health Ministries website.
Pacific Clinics’ 2006 Spirituality and Mental Health Conference will sponsor an all day conference on October 26, 2006 in Burbank, California. Featured speakers include Dr. Craig Rennebohm, Founder of Mental Health Chaplaincey in Seattle, WA, Crystal Crawford, CEO of Black Women’s Health Project and Sister Bernard MacConnell, Director of the Spiritual Growth Center in Los Angeles. For information visit the Pacific Clinics website at www.pacificclinics.org or contact Lindy Russell at (626) 254-5063.
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. There will be a free lunch and workshop on Friday, November 3, from 11:45-2:15. I will be speaking on how to create caring congregations. 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, www.MentalHealthMinistries.net. This ministry is in need of your tax deductible financial support so that we may continue to bring you high quality resources on spirituality and mental illness.