Faith Outreach is an interfaith network of NAMI members and friends that formed for the purpose of encouraging faith communities to become part of the fabric of understanding and support for mental health recovery and wellness in our community.
Outreach to faith congregations can help break the silence and shame that keeps people from seeking treatment. Together we can help build a better community of care.
Why do we need Faith Outreach?
• More than 60% of people in distress first turn to their faith communities for help. Clergy are often on the front lines of mental and emotional crises, but few feel well-prepared to respond effectively to troubled persons experiencing a psychiatric disturbance. NAMI Northside can help.
• NAMI has much to offer with its wealth of referral, support and educational information for faith communities. NAMI Northside Faith Outreach helps build a bridge to mental health care providers, support groups, NAMI education courses and educational materials.
• NAMI members have valuable life experiences that enrich the faith community and shine a light of hope on a subject that is often associated with fear, shame and silence. NAMI stories of recovery, perseverance, service and advocacy are a rich inspiration to people of faith.
• Furthermore, there are far more churches, temples and mosques than mental health care providers in our communities and they are more evenly distributed geographically. If we can reach people in congregations, we will be able to educate a larger percentage of Americans.
NAMI Northside can also gain a great deal from NAMI Georgia Faith Outreach.
• They gain valuable community exposure – to a circle of people who are already committed to caring about human need and creating a better world.
• By reaching out to faith groups, NAMI affiliates will find new and eager participants for their education and support groups.
• As people of faith discover the great benefit of NAMI support groups and education programs like Family-to-Family or Peer-to-Peer, they often become some of our strongest volunteers, advocates, supporters, partners and new members.
How does Faith Outreach work?
Many of us are already connected to a local church, temple, synagogue or mosque.
Faith communities range in size from small home meetings to membership in the thousands.
NAMI members can be trained on how to most effectively reach out to their own faith community. For more information, contact:
Links on the Faith Outreach page:
Training Resources link
• Continuing Education Training for Stephens Ministers
Many faith communities have Stephens ministers or similar programs that provide one-on-one confidential, spiritually-based care and support to people within the congregation who are experiencing life difficulties such as grief, divorce, serious illness of their own or of a family member, job loss, loneliness and disability. Because one family in four will experience a mental health crisis in their lifetime, it is important for Stephens Ministers and lay leaders in faith communities to understand mental illness in order to effectively support families within the congregation who are affected.
NAMI Northside has developed a one hour continuing education session to help educate and equip Stephens Ministers or other lay leaders within your faith community about serious mental illness. The presentation includes an overview of serious mental illness, the impact that mental illness has on families, stigma associated with mental illness, myth and misconceptions, the call to faith communities, suicide, recovery from mental illness, the unique role of Stephens Ministers and NAMI resources that are available within the local area. This one hour session also includes a personal story about faith and mental health and time for discussion.
For more information or to request a Stephens Ministry training session, please contact Mrs. Neill Blake at Nblake@namiga.org.
• Faith Outreach Training…Coming Soon
Upcoming Events link
• Here we will post community events that people might be interested in attending (e.g., FaithWorks Conference, etc.)
NAMI Stories of Recovery
Neill and I thought we could post NAMI Northside members and friends stories that they have shared elsewhere. We would always get written permission to do so from the author(s) and the person with the illness. Possibilities include:
• Neill’s Story
• Jerry’s Story
Other Resources link