This is a special e-Spotlight to highlight our new resource/study guide that is now available in English and Spanish and is available as a free, downloadable resource on the Mental Health Ministries website.
I have written a four session resource/study guide for clergy and communities of faith in response to the many questions and requests for information that I receive from persons who want to include spirituality as an important part of the treatment and recovery process.
Surveys show that over forty percent of Americans seeking help with mental health issues turn first to ministers, priests and rabbis. This is twice as many as those who went first to a psychiatrist, psychologist or family physician. Unfortunately, the response of clergy and congregations falls significantly short of what parishioners expect of their faith leaders. Individuals struggling with mental illness are significantly less likely to receive the same level of pastoral care as persons in the hospital with physical illnesses, persons who are dying or those who have long-term illnesses. Mental illness has been called the “no casserole disease.”
This resource is designed to be used with clergy, members of congregations, family members and anyone desiring to learn more about mental illness and how to respond with compassion and care. It can be used as a small group study or leaders can adapt it to use in an extended class or seminar. Faith leaders can use this guide to quickly find information on a specific topic when the need arrives.
The four sections included in this resource/study guide include:
Understanding Mental Illness
The Unique Role of Faith Communities
Creating Caring Congregations
Help for Faith Leaders.
Click here to download this new resource in English.
What is INGENIUM
INGENIUM is a non-profit organization that provides support to families through educational programs on mental health. Located in Monterrey, Mexico, they have a program called “An Alliance for Mental Health.” Their mission is to provide information to all areas of society that might be in contact with persons with a mental illness. They work on prevention, early detection and appropriate referral of patients and their families. Their target market is currently high school teachers and parents. Their objective in 2010 is to broaden the program to reach the spiritual leaders of the Monterrey community.
As one of NAMI’s multicultural and international partner organizations, INGENIUM has collaborated to translate the NAMI Family to Family and Peer to Peer programs into Spanish. Mental Health Ministries is most grateful that this group has volunteered to translate many of our resources into Spanish. Most recently, four members worked to translate our resource/study guide, Mental Illness and Families of Faith: How Congregations Can Respond. Persons who worked on this translation include Fortino Garza, Ramon Rios, Ana Mary Solbes de Cruz and, my contact person, Tutuy Escamez de Guerra. Dr. Isabel Gonzalez supervised the translation of the technical terminology.
Mental Health Ministries is most grateful to INGENIUM for making these resources available to the international Spanish speaking community. Click here to download this resource in Spanish.
I hope you find this guide and other downloadable resources available on the Mental Health Ministries website, (www.MentalHealthMinistries.net), helpful resources helpful as we all work together to create caring congregations for persons with a mental illness and their families.
Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder
Coordinator of Mental Health Ministries
6707 Monte Verde Dr.
San Diego, CA 92119