Why should your faith community care about mental health?
Because 1 in 4 people in your congregation is affected by mental illness. Mental illnesses do not discriminate -- they affect people from all races, creeds, income categories and social classes. Stigma keeps people from sharing their stories with others in your congregation, so they seldom get the support we offer to people with other types of illnesses.
Because more than half of people who seek outside help when they are in crisis turn first to their clergy/faith leaders, before they seek help from psychiatrists, physicians or psychologists. If you are a faith leader, do you feel prepared to counsel on mental health problems? If you are a member of a faith community, do you feel confident your leaders have the education and training they need to help you and your family deal with the mental health issues you face?
Because there are many people who are living with a mental illness/brain disorder who are looking for a faith community that offers an inclusive welcome and provides spiritual support. Do you want to learn more about how to become more inclusive and welcoming and how to offer spiritual support in your faith community?
What is INMI?
INMI is a nationwide non-profit organization based in Boulder, Colorado. We are an interfaith organization, meaning we welcome participation from all faith traditions, and we affirm that spirituality is an important component of recovery from mental illness. Learn more about INMI.
Our mission is to increase awareness and understanding of mental illness among clergy, staff, lay leaders and members of faith communities and help them more effectively develop and nurture supportive environments for persons dealing with mental illnesses and their families and friends.
What we do
INMI offers resources and support to clergy (pastors, ministers, priests, rabbis, imams, etc.), staff, lay leaders and members of faith communities. In the Boulder/Broomfield, Colo. area, INMI offers live conferences, workshops and other events. Learn about upcoming events.
Whether or not you live in our vicinity, if you are a faith community leader or staff member, you can take advantage of our resources on mental illnesses to help you recognize common brain disorders and make referrals to mental health professionals when it is appropriate. Be sure to visit the
Caring Clergy Project website to see a series of short videos specifically for faith communities.
How you can help
Join INMI's network and learn about best practices, resources and the experiences from faith communities regarding
mental illness/brain disorders. We welcome your input and your stories to share with others. You can let faith communities and organizations know about INMI and you can invite members of your faith community to join INMI.
Why aren't the presidential candidates talking about mental health? See this list of 8 questions to ask candidates from both parties to discover their attitudes about mental health.
Grounded in Faith: Resources on Mental Health and Gun Violence was written by the Interfaith Disability Action Coalition in the wake of the tragic Newtown shootings, but it is just as relevant today as the public cry for background checks intensifies. Read this document and discuss it with your congregation. As former IDAC Convener Ginny Thornburg says, "It presents an opportunity for ... all religious organizations to become better informed and to take action consistent with our shared understanding of the inherent dignity and worth of men, women and children with mental illness. As people of faith we can do nothing less."
See the "Suicide Prevention and Response" video series on the Caring Clergy Project website. This series of short videos, produced by INMI, is written specifically for clergy and staff of faith communities. Learn how to recognize risk factors and warning signs of suicide, how to tell if a person is considering suicide and how to respond if you discover they are. You'll also learn how to respond to families after a suicide and how to plan a memorial service for someone who has died by suicide.
If your faith community welcomes and offers support to congregants with mental illnesses and their families -- whether through a support group, mental health ministry or other services -- please register in the Interfaith Network on Mental Illnessís online directory of organizations operating at the intersection of faith/spirituality and mental health. Use the "Interfaith Online Directory" button on the left or go to www.inmi.us/fwconn.html.
Sutherland Center Seminar Series on bipolar disorder, Monday evenings starting Feb. 8, 2016, for adults with a bipolar disorder and their family and friends. Download the flyer for details.
Spiritual Support Group for Mental Health and Wellness every 2nd and 4th Monday evening from 7-8:30 at the First Congregational Church FAITH Center, southwest corner of Pine and Broadway, Boulder. For people who are affected by mental health challenges and the family members and friends who support them. Email Anne Weiher at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
New Spiritual Support Group for Mental Health and Wellness every 2nd Tuesday from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 1241 Ceres Drive, Lafayette, Colo. For people who are affected by mental health challenges and the family members and friends who support them. Email Lu at email@example.com for more information.
A mental health support group in Broomfield focuses on supporting family members/close associates of persons with mental illness, within a spiritual framework. The group meets every other Thursday at Broomfield United Methodist Church, 545 W. 10th Avenue, Broomfield, Colo. Meetings start at 7:00 p.m. For more information, contact Leandra Price at firstname.lastname@example.org (Meetings are on slightly different schedule during summer months.)
A support group for family and friends of those living with mental health issues is offered at Immaculate Conception Church in Lafayette. All are welcome. The first and third Wednesday of the month, 7:00-8:30 p.m. 715 Cabrini Dr., Lafayette. Call 303-887-3866 for more information.