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We have a new web master! I met Jennifer Smith while speaking at Princeton. She is in her third year at Princeton Theological Seminary and is currently doing her CPE work in Southern California. Jennifer has extensive experience in web design and graphic arts. There are many new features on the site, and it will be easier to navigate. So visit our website at www.MentalHealthMinistries.net to see our fresh new look .
I am excited about speaking at the NAMI South Carolina Annual Convention at Hilton Head, South Carolina, 3-5, 2006. There will be a special clergy reception and workshop on Saturday afternoon. We will provide more information as the event gets closer or you can contact Dave Almeida at David.Almeida@namisc.org .
Since I will be on the east coast, a colleague has invited me to present a conference on November 7, 2006. The newly formed United Methodist Committee on Disability Concerns with the North Carolina Conferences 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. Mental Health Advocacy groups such as NAMI-Wake County, NAMI-NC, NC- MHA, and others will have display tables and exhibits. This conference is also sponsored by NAMI North Carolina and North Carolina Mental Health Association. More information will be offered as this event is finalized. For more information, contact Dr. John Crowe at DrCrowe1@cs.com.
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 . A press release with details on the grant is available on our website.
Dr. Gunnar Christiansen "birthed" FaithNet NAMI. NAMI National has now taken responsibility for providing information about the important role that faith communities can play in helping individuals and families live with mental illness. NAMI National is interested in receiving submissions for inclusion in future editions of this newsletter and submissions for the FaithNet NAMI website found at www.NAMI.org . You are encouraged to send articles, stories, resources, links and ideas to Faithnet@nami.org . At this time they are unable to acknowledge all submissions to provide dates for when items will be used.
Many faith communities are using the slower paced summer to have a worship service that focuses on disabilities. A number of denominations have Disability Committees that advocate for much needed services for persons with physical disabilities. We hope you will also take this opportunity to educate your congregation about the "invisible" suffering surrounding mental illness. The mission of Mental Health Ministries is to provide resources to help you erase the stigma of mental illness...both in worship, classes and small groups. We have resources on a wide variety of mental illnesses...including free downloadable resources. I recommend our most popular and versatile resource, Creating Caring Congregations .
I hope you find Sabbath time during the summer months. Self care in such an important part of good mental health. A free brochure on clergy self care is available for download on our website.