October 1, 2021
Mental Illness Awareness Week is Oct. 3–9, 2021. As the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) notes, millions of Americans live with a mental health condition, and all of us are affected either directly or indirectly. This week provides a time for mental health advocates across the country to come together as one unified voice. See nami.org.
As people of faith, we know what it means to care for our siblings and to speak up with them and for them when necessary. Mental health awareness is a primary focus of the PC(USA) Mental Health Ministry (see presbyterianmission.org/ministries/compassion-peace-justice/mental-health-ministry) as we seek ways to promote awareness and to partner with others to advocate for better mental health care. Faith leaders and congregation members are encouraged to visit the NAMI website, our Mental Health Ministry website and the website of the Presbyterian Mental Health Network (pmhn.org) to learn more about this important work. The websites provide information about mental health concerns and resources for people of all ages, and help equip congregations and faith leaders to engage in mental health ministry. All congregations can become informed about mental illness, be aware of mental health resources in their local communities, and become better equipped to respond to and minister with those who have mental health concerns within their worshiping community.
Another resource is the NAMI FaithNet (nami.org/Get-Involved/NAMI-FaithNet). This is an interfaith resource network of NAMI members, friends, clergy and congregations of all faith traditions who wish to encourage faith communities who are welcoming and supportive of people and families living with mental illness. Members of FaithNET work together and provide resources to encourage welcoming, caring congregations and to promote the vital role of spirituality in the recovery journeys of many who live with mental health conditions for whom faith is a key component.
Kathy Riley, Associate for Emotional and Spiritual Care. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Today’s Focus: Mental Illness Awareness Week
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Beth Zornick, Director, Business Systems, Board of Pensions
Princeton Abarahoa, African Intercultural Ministries (field staff), Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Let us pray
Holy God, be with us as we seek to walk alongside those to know the challenges of mental illness. Give us the compassion Christ showed to all who called his name in search of healing as we seek to respond to your call to us as your faithful ones. Amen.