Educate... raise awareness, offer information, and make connections
· Would a member of your congregation be willing to address a Sunday School class, a senior group, a men's or women's group, a youth group about their own personal journey through mental illness, their own or that of a family member?
· Invite a NAMI Reaching Out to Faith Communities trained speaker to work with your congregation. The long-range goal of all NAMI FaithNet educational outreach to religious groups is to promote faith communities where awareness, welcome, inclusion, support, and spiritual care for individuals and families facing mental illness is provided. They offer a series of workshops and presentations. Read more at www.namiga.org. You can call Georgia NAMI at (770) 234-0855 or email email@example.com.
· There are a number of good published and online worship resources for clergy available. Visit Worship Resources for Clergy from NAMI
Worship Resources for Downloading from Mental Health Ministries
The National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health
A nationally recognized non-profit with over 100 local chapter and state organizations that provide resources, tools, support, and services to children and youth with emotional, behavioral and mental health challenges and their families.
· Depression is the leading risk factor in suicide. More than Sad Is a one-hour DVD presentation for teenagers on teen depression for youth groups co-produced by AFSP and the award-winning Break Thru Films. It is listed in the Best Practices Registry for Suicide Prevention and endorsed by the National Association of School Psychologists. The Georgia Chapter of AFSP will present the program for youth groups or parent groups or you can purchase the film, Find it at morethansad.org Contact for the Atlanta Chapter is firstname.lastname@example.org
If members of your congregation are more comfortable speaking in Spanish find out about Latino Prevention Programs CETPA Prevention, Merchant Square Shopping Center, 4650 Jimmy Carter Blvd., Suite 113 Norcross, GA 30093
· The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has two valuable presentations-- one a basic overview and the other dealing with suicide and the elderly. The Atlanta Chapter will make these presentations for your congregation, group, or class. However, they are Power Points and anyone could view and use them. The recommendation is that a counselor be present to address any concerns that may arise. Contact them at (404)374-5197 or email email@example.com
· The RESPECT Institute of Georgia is a program that helps individuals prepare to share their unique stories of recovery from mental illness to a broad range of audiences throughout the state. Invite a graduate of RESPECT to speak to a Sunday School class or other group. Call (404)904-1960 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
· Invite Alan Harris or another member of the Coalition for People with a Mental Illness to speak to your outreach volunteers, a group concerned with legislative advocacy, or your congregation. Email Alan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
· In Our Own voice from NAMI is a unique public education program developed by NAMI in which two trained consumer speakers share compelling personal stories about living with mental illness and achieving recovery. Email email@example.com to arrange this free presentation.
· Appoint someone to keep up with the fantastic array of workshops and events concerned with mental health in the metropolitan area and inform the congregation of these opportunities.
· Observe one of the national occasions dedicated to raising awareness about mental health, i.e., National Mental Health Month in May, Recovery Month in October, or Children's Mental Health Awareness Day, or Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 each year. Ideas for Observing Children's Mental Health Awareness Week.
· Commit to using your communication organs, newsletter, bulletins, bulletin boards, to increase understanding that we are all affected by mental illness in our community and called to support and care for each other. Use those tools to help increase awareness of how stigma demeans those who are its object and those who are infected with it. Use them to reveal unfairness. Use them to share stories to make living with mental illness real.