Seven years ago Mental Health Ministry began with a mission statement to help erase the stigma of mental illness in our faith communities. We have been blessed over these years to have the opportunity to create media and print resources for this purpose.
We have met other persons nationwide committed to including a person's faith and spirituality in the treatment and recovery process of mental illness. We have also found that there is much work to be done in educating faith communities and mental health providers. We will continue to identify and collaborate with other individuals and faith communities who share our mission.
Mental Health Ministries receives many requests to list new resources on our website. Our Advisory Committee has chosen not to "reinvent the wheel" and we refer you to the Faith Communities Education Project's Congregational Resource Guide. In partnership with NAMI Indianapolis, Carole Wills has developed a comprehensive listing of resources for faith communities. The link to this site www.congregationalresources.org/mentalhealth.asp .
Another national source for information about spirituality and mental illness is Pathways to Promise. You can visit their site at www.Pathways2Promise.org.
Mental Health Ministries will continue to work with FaithNet NAMI. A NAMI National report issued last fall noted that the FaithNet NAMI website has consistently been one of the most visited sites on the NAMI National website. More people continue to discover FaithNet NAMI as a resource for addressing spirituality and mental illness. 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.
The NAMI National convention will be held in Orlando, Florida, June 13-16. FaithNet NAMI will be sponsoring a Special Interest Workshop.
We are going to try to add national conferences and events on spirituality and mental illness to our website. These will be listed on the Conferences and Workshops page of the website under National Conferences. You are welcome to submit your event by contacting Susan via email. We will only include conferences and events whose sole focus is on educating about the role of faith in the treatment and recovery of mental illness. We need several months of lead time to keep the website as timely as possible. Please provide a link or contact information. We reserve the right to decide what conferences to include. We will do our best to let you know about events in your region of the country.
This documentary, produced by Mennonite Media, will be airing on ABC-TV stations beginning January 6, 2008. It probes phases of aging, retirement, housing options, care issues and options, relationships, aging in different cultures, mental health issues, and the role of the church.
Additional information and resources about this documentary are available at www.EmbracingAging.com. The DVD is available for purchase from Mennonite Media by calling 800-999-3534 or visiting their website. The DVD is closed captioned and subtitled in English and Spanish.
This new downloadable brochure is an example of how Mental Health Ministries strives to create relevant resources. This tri-fold brochure is available on the Home page of our website.
Mental Health Ministries will continue to work to bring you timely and practical educational resources to help educate in your setting. We will lift up the work being done by different denominations and faith groups.
My prayer for the New Year is that the seeds we have sown will grow and that, working together, we will continue to break down the walls of stigma and shame that still surround illnesses of the brain. May our faith communities become vessels of support, care and hope for all persons affected by mental illness.
New Year's blessings to you all,
Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder
Coordinator of Mental Health Ministries
6707 Monte Verde Dr.
San Diego, CA 92119