Reaching out to Faith CommunitiesParts I and II A Webinar Presentation April 19, 2011
Four Phases of Reaching out to Faith Communities • Part I: Laying the Foundation • Part II: Opening the Door • Part III: Sharing Your Story • Part IV: Looking Ahead & Following Up
Reaching out to Faith Communities Part I Laying the Foundation
What is NAMI? NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness … …the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
Our Purpose • To equip and educate NAMI members, clergy and faith communities • To encourage the creation of supportive congregations and faith communities
Why Reach Out to Faith Communities? They are the first place to which many turn NAMI is a rich resource of referral, support and educational information NAMI members have valuable life experiences Faith communities are numerous in both urban and rural communities
Why Reach Out to Faith Communities? Here’s What NAMI Can Receive... Valuable community exposure Education and support group participants Volunteers and advocates New members and community partners
Mental Illness Also Impacts the Faith Community 1 in 4 adults experiences a mental health disorder in a given year About 1 in 17 lives with a serious mental illness 1 in 10 children and youth experience a mental health disorder
LEARN ALL YOU CAN • ABOUT VARIOUS FAITH TRADITIONS • ABOUT TERMS USED • FOR CLERGY • HOUSES OF WORSHIP • NOT-FOR-PROFIT AND COMMUNITY GROUPS • FAITH GROUPS
Suggestions for Study • Take a moment to read each slide • Read the notes for each one • Keep a notebook handy and jot down … 1. things you agree with 2. things you don’t agree with 3. things you have questions about • Share your affirmations, concerns and questions with your partner or team
Your Resource Kit • Local NAMI Affiliate Brochure • Local Congregation/Faith Community Contact Sheet • Your Lead-in statements and story • Fact Sheet • A few resources that will serve the faith community with whom you are engaging
Visit Our website at www.nami.org/faithnet About UsStigma of Mental IllnessSteps of MinistryAdvocacy ExamplesDay of PrayerWorship ServicesFaith & Mental IllnessSuggested ReadingE-mail NetworkResourcesRelated LinksCommunities of Faith Discussion Group
Additional Resources: Congregations www.Congregationalresources.org/mentalhealth.asp printed, audio-visual and web-based media
Additional Resources: Congregations For creating a caring congregation: www.mentalhealthministries.net Education Commitment Welcome Support Advocacy
A Mental Health Handbook for Local Congregations A basic guide to monthly activities and resources for creating a caring congregation and a mental health ministry www.pathways2promise.org
Reaching out to Faith Communities Part II Opening the Door to conversations with congregations and faith communities
Poll What do you see as the primary benefit of NAMI faith outreach? Program promo – spiritual service – cultural outreach – public awareness & education -- other
Illness Raises Spiritual Questions and Concerns Where is God in this? Why do bad things happen to good people? How can my faith help me heal? What now? Is there meaning and purpose for my life? Where do I belong?
Illness and Recovery Spiritual estrangement can be part of the illness experience Spiritual support can play a significant role in the recovery process¹
Responding to Illness When Ellyn had cancer, she received: Visits in the hospital Notes and cards Meals that were made for her family Prayers Support for her treatment A ‘welcome back’ When Ellyn had mental illness, she received: Visits in the hospital Notes and cards Meals that were made for her family Prayers Support for her treatment A ‘welcome back’
Faith Communities Can Give Basic Spiritual Care They can learn to recognize and accept They can learn to assist in finding the help needed They can learn to support treatment and recovery They can learn to attend to the person’s faith concerns
Types of Spiritual Support Create a safe place for the one who is struggling Offer the gift of presence Listen and share the journey Hold those who are struggling in thought and prayer
Share your NAMI story Affirm the vital role of spiritual leadership Your message: “NAMI offers resources to help faith communities better support individuals and families affected by mental illness.” Our Ask of You...
Opportunities to Open Dialogue During Mental Illness Awareness Week in October or Mental Health Month in May When adult education events are being planned
Create a Lead-in Statement “Hello, I’m a volunteer for NAMI, a local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness dedicated to improving the lives of people touched by mental illness.” “Did you know that one in four adults experiences a mental illness during their lifetime?” “I’ve had some experience with mental illness. When you have time, I’d like to tell you about NAMI’s education and support programs and resources.”
Encouraging the Conversation How can this faith community open its doors to individuals and families who face mental illness? How can this faith community increase its capacity to support healing and recovery? What resources and tools are available to help faith groups develop a mental health ministry or support effort?
What to Include in Your Information Packet Local NAMI Affiliate Brochure NAMI FaithNet Brochure Brief Referral List Fact Sheet or Illness Brochure(s) NAMI Education Brochures
A Sample Contact Report Faith Group: (name, address, phone, e-mail/website) Conversation Partner(s): (name, address, phone, e-mail) Interests Observed: (specific topics, suggested ways to follow-up) Follow up: (documents sent, e-mail, calls, plans, visits)
What is Your Faith? NAMI has members from many different faith backgrounds NAMI welcomes individuals and families from all walks of life and spiritual traditions A person’s faith can be an important part of their healing and recovery I can say a word or two about my experience with mental illness and spirituality