National Alliance on Mental Illness
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NAMI FaithNet Newsletter: September 2009

Welcome to the September issue of the NAMI FaithNet Newsletter.

NAMI FaithNet Wins Award

Reverend Chester (Chet) Watson and Gunnar Christiansen, M.D., were the recipients of an award presented to NAMI FaithNet at the Northern California Mental Health and Spirituality Conference in Oakland, Calif., on June 1-2, 2009.

The conference was jointly sponsored by the California Institute for Mental Health, the California Mental Health Directors, the Center for Multicultural Development, the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health and the Alameda Department of Mental Health. It was a part of a state-wide initiative (Mental Health and Spirituality Initiative) with a two-fold purpose: to increase awareness of spirituality as a potential resource in mental health prevention, early intervention and recovery; and to encourage collaboration among faith-based organizations, mental health service providers, consumers and families in combating stigma and reducing disparities in access to services for diverse populations.

National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding - Oct. 6, 2009

(Tuesday of Mental Illness Awareness Week-MIAW-Oct. 4-10)

The National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding has the widespread support and participation of individuals, congregations and national faith community mental illness networks. Please visit the NAMI FaithNet Web site for resources and suggestions for this special day and other services during MIAW.

In This Issue:

  • Bolstering a California Community
  • A Catholic Psychiatrist's Calling
  • The Washington City, Pa., Mission and Faith-centered Rehabilitation
  • Touched by God: A Devotional for Mental Illness

Bolstering a California Community

Six local religious leaders from Buddhist, Christian Scientist, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant and Roman Catholic places of worship joined parents, mental health professionals, city, school and police leaders at "Supporting Our Teens: A Multifaith Community Response," where local faith groups offered their traditions of community and faith as a way for teens and their families to find hope and support in the wake of recent teen suicides.

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A Catholic Psychiatrist's Calling

Catholic psychiatrist Dr. Tom Welch tours the country helping Catholics with mental illness. Faith plays a role in his world view and for the patient who has faith, he says, spiritual matters can be one path toward better mental health.

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The Washington City (Pa.) Mission and Faith-centered Rehabilitation

The Washington City Mission, a Christian faith-based, nonprofit homeless rehabilitation shelter, offers a 180-day program that allows residents to participate in faith-centered rehabilitation. The program includes attending chapel programs, Bible studies and participation in intensive individual and group counseling on topics such as the causes of homelessness and addiction, with an emphasis on mental health and spiritual restoration.

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Touched by God: A Devotional for Mental Illness
by Evelyn Geisler (Pleasant Word, 2009)

This book, written as a devotional, includes stories from people living with mental illness. Touched by God: A Devotional for Mental Illness features chapters written for family and friends and explain the ins and outs of setting monthly goals, dieting and budget troubleshooting.

Learn more