Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mental Health Ministries

If you've never heard of NAMI, the National Alliance of Mental Illness, it's an agency worth learning something about. Much of what I know about NAMI comes from my work, and of their strong emphasis on peer led groups and services. NAMI, which is a national group, also has a part which is trying to work more closely with clergy and churches. That subsection of NAMI is called Faithnet.

What a wonderful opportunity and work for churches to get involved with! The national statistics on mental illness are staggering, and indicate that as much as a quarter of the population will experience some kind of mental illness in their lifetime. This would include illnesses such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenic, bipolar disorder, and PTSD, just to name a few.  

Several churches throughout the country are forming ministries for people with mental illnesses. In some cases, these ministries are places were people would come and receive helpful information, spiritual direction, as well as finding support. This is exciting. This is needed. This is what ministry is all about. Reaching out to others in need and trying to help them along the parth to mental health recovery. If you're interested in learning more you can contact either NAMI directly, or feel free to email me.

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