Faith communities can be an incredible source of strength and support for individuals and families dealing with a mental illness diagnosis, so NAMI has developed an intentional outreach designed to give faith leaders more information about mental illness and about programs offered by NAMI, its affiliates, and other agencies.
We know that 60% of people with emotional distress turn to their clergy for help and counseling, yet many clergy feel ill-equipped to provide appropriate support and referrals to those whose lives have been affected by mental illness.
At the same time, social prejudices and shame often prevent others from reaching out to their faith leaders.
Education about mental illness is the key to replacing ignorance and fear with compassion and understanding. Through education, congregations can offer caring, understanding and support that promotes healing and recovery.
NAMI FaithNet 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 persons and families living with mental illness. NAMI FaithNet strives to encourage welcoming, caring congregations as well as to promote the vital role of spirituality in the recovery journeys of many who live with mental health conditions, those for whom faith is a key component.
How your faith community can help.
- Use NAMI and NAMI FaithNet resources to help you provide educational materials about mental illness.
- Invite local NAMI members to come and share their story.
- Work with NAMI Northern Illinois to learn what treatment and recovery services, programs and support are offered.