National Alliance on Mental Illness
page printed from FaithNet NAMI

NAMI FaithNet Introduces Training Modules at Convention

At the 2010 NAMI national convention in Washington, D.C., NAMI FaithNet advisory group members shared two training modules that are designed to help NAMI affiliates connect their local faith communities to mental health resources and NAMI.

Recognizing that approximately 60% of individuals with a mental health issue go first to a spiritual leader for help, Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder led the first training workshop and focused on how NAMI affiliates can initiate a conversation with clergy and faith communities. By building a relationship with NAMI, these groups can learn to better welcome, include and support people affected by mental illness.

In the second workshop, Carole Wills focused on the power of engaging faith communities through compelling personal stories. By putting a face to mental illness, such stories can open up communication, which ideally leads to a greater understanding within a faith community and increases its willingness to learn more about how they can help others. The hope is that when one reaches out first with his or her story, the congregation will in turn reach out with to others, providing another means of support for those living with mental illness.

During the convention workshop, attendees learned how they can develop and deliver their own personal stories in an organized and productive manner to connect with faith communities.

The NAMI FaithNet Advisory Group will continue to develop these presentations based on feedback received from the convention audiences. Once they are complete, they will be available on the NAMI FaithNet website at