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.
See the new "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.
Download an overview of the suicide risk factors and warning signs outlined in the first video in the "Suicide Prevention and Response" video series for faith community leaders.
See the new Checklist for Faith Communities: Becoming a Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive, and Engaged (WISE) Congregation for Mental Health, developed jointly by the Interfaith Network on Mental Illness and the UCC Mental Health Network.This checklist is designed to be a mirror showing you where your congregation is today and a window to see where you might go in the future.
See the recorded version of this webinar: Rethinking Mental Health Care: The Role of the Church in Recovery. Explore the foundational role of the church in the recovery process and discover practical steps churches can take to effectively minister to those living with mental illness and their families.
Read an article in Everyday Health that explores the benefits of spirituality and religious participation for people with bipolar disorder.
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.
Join the conversation: A new INMI blog called FaithWorks offers reflections on the intersection of faith/spirituality and mental health. Join us in discussing many topics related to faith and mental health challenges.
Learn about a free program for teens at the Lafayette Public Library starting in August. The EQT program teaches teens skills for boosting their emotional quotient (interpersonal skills, tools for handling anxiety and stress, etc.). Download a 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.)
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