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FaithNet Newsletter: April 2008

In this issue:

  • Psychiatry and Spirituality Forum at the University of California, Irvine
  • Religion and Medicine
  • Naked on God's Doorstep: A Memoir
  • FaithCEP Conference: The Mental Health of our Children and Youth
  • LA County Department of Mental Health Conference for Clergy and Faith Leaders
  • Duke University Offers Summer Research Workshops

Psychiatry and Spirituality Forum at the University of California, Irvine

The Orange County Register recently profiled Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, M.D., a psychiatrist who has developed a forum to study the role of faith in coping with mental illness. Read more....

Religion and Medicine

Dr. Robert Klitzman, M.D., a New York psychiatrist, shared his thoughts on patients, prayer and faith in The New York Times this week. Read more....

Naked On God's Doorstep: A Memoir

By Marion Duckworth

During the 1930s, Isadore Siegel was institutionalized—for life—after being diagnosed with "schizophrenia with catatonia." His young daughter perceived it as an abandonment. Her memoir is about her subsequent life, involving passage through poverty and feelings of loneliness, helplessness, vulnerability and humiliation, as people called her father "crazy."

Duckworth became a Bible teacher, lay counselor, writer and lecturer. Every page involves her Christian faith and religious interpretation, which may be too intense for some readers, but there is wisdom in her journey. The final chapter recounts an invitation to speak at the founding meeting of a small NAMI Oregon affiliate—which for her was a profound spiritual moment. She realized then that she was speaking words she had been waiting a lifetime to say.

"I was ashamed to have a mentally ill father," Duckworth told the group. "I blamed him for leaving me, but I know now that it was not his fault...Every individual is of inestimable worth because God designed him or her uniquely in his own image. Mental illness doesn't change that...Isadore Siegel was my father, and I am proud of it."

Duckworth is a past president of Oregon Christian Writers and once served with Village Missions. Her Web site is

Order from and NAMI receives a portion of the proceeds.

FaithCEP Conference: The Mental Health of our Children and Youth

Thursday, May 15, 2008

9 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana

NAMI Indianapolis invites clergy and congregational leaders of all faiths to better understand the needs of children and youth with special mental and emotional needs.

Dr. Ann Adinamis, M.D., child and adolescent psychiatrist, will speak about symptoms and treatment of major early on-set childhood mental illnesses. Break-out sessions will address eating disorders, suicide prevention and substance abuse. Multicultural workshops will focus on African American and Spanish-speaking youth. Information on NAMI Basics and other resources for caregivers of children with mental illness also will be available.

For more information, please contact Carole Wills at

LA County Department of Mental Health Conference for Clergy and Faith Leaders

Thursday, June 5, 2008

California Endowment's Center for Healthy Communities

The Clergy Advisory Committee of DMH will host its annual conference on mental health and spirituality for clergy and faith leaders in June. The subject of this year's conference is "Healing of the Heart, Mind and Soul: Strengthening Individuals, Families and Communities."

For additional information, please contact Stephanie Bartsch at 213-351-5481 or

Duke University Offers Summer Research Workshops

The Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke University Medical Center will offer summer workshops that compress a two-year post-doctoral fellowship into five days. It is the only place in the world where specific training on how to conduct research on religion, spirituality and health can be obtained from people who have been active in the field for nearly 25 years.

Due to the intense nature of this training that includes individual mentorship, workshops are limited to 20 participants each.There may be limited scholarships available for those demonstrating extreme need and promising academic careers, and would be awarded on a competitive basis.

It is important to register early. More information on the workshops and registration can be found online.

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