National Alliance on Mental Illness
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NAMI FaithNet Newsletter: October 20, 2006

Caution: Clergy At Risk,Too

In this first-person article, Rev. Randall Roda, a United Methodist pastor, shares his experiences with mental illness and offers suggestions for clergy and faith communities on how to recognize and respond to mental illness when it strikes those in ministry.

“In 2005, I was forced to leave active ministry after being diagnosed with major depressive disorder so severe, that I twice tried to take my own life.

"Over the course of the last two years my depression has failed to subside and I have continued on incapacity leave.  The greatest lesson I have learned and the greatest one I have to teach is that the same thing can happen to anyone.” Read more…

Children’s Sabbaths Focus on Health Care

This month, the 15th annual National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths will take place in congregations across the country. Most will occur this weekend.

Sponsored by the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) and endorsed by over 200 religious bodies, this interfaith effort seeks to celebrate children and lift up their needs in worship and action.

This year, the focus is on the unmet health and mental health needs of children.

“I can only imagine the anguish the parents of our nation’s nine million uninsured children feel under the unrelieved, daily weight of worry,” writes Marian Wright Edelman, CDF’s president and founder in a recent op-ed in Frost Illustrated. “Lack of, inadequate, and costly health and mental health coverage are problems that cut across every race, region, and income as middle class and poor parents alike struggle to afford health insurance.”

Edelman says that she hopes this event will unite and amplify the voice of the faith community in a call for comprehensive health and mental health care for all children, which is CDF’s top action priority for 2007.

“It is simply time to say no more,” she writes. “There is no reason on God’s good earth to allow any child of God to be denied the health and mental health care they need now to survive, thrive, and live the lives for which they were created.”

For more information on the National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths, visit

Online Program in Spirituality and Health to Be Offered

The George Washington Institute on Spirituality and Health (GWish), a program of George Washington University in Washington, DC, is set to offer a new online graduate certificate program in spirituality and health.

This 15-credit-hour graduate certificate program will focus on providing practical knowledge and skills to enable physicians and other healthcare practitioners to integrate spirituality and health into their professional practice. 

The first course, called “Philosophical, Theoretical, Ethical, and Empirical Basis of Spirituality in Healthcare,” will be offered online beginning January 2007.

Each course is 3-credit hours and the cost per course is approximately $1,500.  An undergraduate degree in a related field is required.

For more information, visit

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