I have always found hope in the stories of how others have coped with their mental illness and moved toward recovery. Mental Health Ministries website is designed to provide educational resources on spirituality and mental illness that can be adapted to your needs. Because we do not offer a chat room or other ways for persons to post their personal studies, I refer you to one of the websites listed on our Links section.
I met Sister Ann Catherine several years ago when I had the opportunity to speak in Chicago and stay with her at her convent. Her brother, John Veierstahaler, created the website www.hopetohealing.com. I invite you to visit this inspirational website and consider sharing your own story.
From the publisher of bp Magazine comes esperanza a new magazine for people living with anxiety and depression. Esperanza means "hope" - the virtue essential to the well-being of all of us who live with anxiety and depression, regardless of gender, age, culture, education, or socio-economic standing. I have written an article for the inaugural issue, Seeds of Hope. You can sign up to receive a copy of the premiere issue by visiting www.esperanzamag.com.
Many of you have asked for guidelines to help you plan a conference or workshops on the role of faith and spirituality in the recovery process. I've written some ideas based on my experience in a new downloadable resources, Guidelines for Organizing a Successful Conference. This list is not all inclusive, but may help you get started. I hope some of you are planning an event for May as Mental Health Month. You will find this resource featured on the Mental Health Ministries Home page this month as well as under the Conferences and Workshops section.
As mentioned in our last e-Spotlight, Mental Health Ministries will list regional events on spirituality and mental illness on our website if we receive the information several months is advance. Here are some upcoming conferences.
Episcopal Mental Illness Network (EMIN) - A conference on "Creating Caring Congregations For All: (That Means People with Mental Illness Too!) will be held on February 27, 2008 at Christ Episcopal Church in Little Rock, Ark. The conference is from 1-5 p.m. followed by a followed by a wine and cheese reception. Another conference on "Bridging Faithful Spirits and Healthy Minds" will be held the next day from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center. For more information, visit www.eminnews.org .
FaithCEP of NAMI Indianapolis - The 7th annual conference of Mending the Mind and Minding the South will be held on Thursday, May 15, 2008, at the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. The title for this year's conference is "How Are Your Children? The Mental Health of our Children and Youth." You can download a registration form at www.namiindy.org or call 317-767-7653. CEU units are available.
LA County Department of Mental Health (MDMH) - For 5 years the Clergy Advisory Committee of DMH has hosted an annual conference on mental health and spirituality for clergy and faith leaders. This year's conference, "Healing of the Heart, Mind and Soul: Strengthening Individuals, Families and Communities," will be held on Thursday, June 5, at The California Endowment's Center for Healthy Communities, 1000 N. Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Contact information: Stephanie Bartsch, 213-351-5481 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NAMI National Convention will be held in Orlando, Florida, June 13-16. FaithNet NAMI will be sponsoring a Special Interest Workshop. You can subscribe to their e-newsletter at www.faithnet.nami.org . I encourage you to register to receive their e-mail updates and to visit the site to see what our faith communities are doing.
Mental Health Ministries is committed to offering more of our resources in Spanish. Our brochure, Comfort from the Scriptures for Persons with a Mental Illness, is now available in Spanish translation.
Mental Health Ministries will be featuring resources for you to use as you prepare for May as Mental Health Month. We appreciate you forwarding this e-Spotlight to other individuals or groups interested in spirituality and mental illness.
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, "What! You too? I thought I was the only one!"
Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder
Coordinator of Mental Health Ministries
6707 Monte Verde Dr.
San Diego, CA 92119