Illness Raises Spiritual Questions and Concerns Where is God in this? Why do bad things happen to good people? How can my faith help me heal? What now? Is there meaning and purpose for my life? Where do I belong?
Illness and Recovery Spiritual estrangement can be part of the illness experience Spiritual support can play a significant role in the recovery process¹
Responding to Illness When Ellyn had cancer, she received: Visits in the hospital Notes and cards Meals that were made for her family Prayers Support for her treatment A ‘welcome back’ When Ellyn had mental illness, she received: Visits in the hospital Notes and cards Meals that were made for her family Prayers Support for her treatment A ‘welcome back’
Faith Communities Can Give Basic Spiritual Care They can learn to recognize and accept They can learn to assist in finding the help needed They can learn to support treatment and recovery They can learn to attend to the person’s faith concerns
Types of Spiritual Support Create a safe place for the one who is struggling Offer the gift of presence Listen and share the journey Hold those who are struggling in thought and prayer
Share your NAMI story Affirm the vital role of spiritual leadership Your message: “NAMI offers resources to help faith communities better support individuals and families affected by mental illness.” Our Ask of You...
Opportunities to Open Dialogue During Mental Illness Awareness Week in October or Mental Health Month in May When adult education events are being planned
Create a Lead-in Statement “Hello, I’m a volunteer for NAMI, a local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness dedicated to improving the lives of people touched by mental illness.” “Did you know that one in four adults experiences a mental illness during their lifetime?” “I’ve had some experience with mental illness. When you have time, I’d like to tell you about NAMI’s education and support programs and resources.”
Encouraging the Conversation How can this faith community open its doors to individuals and families who face mental illness? How can this faith community increase its capacity to support healing and recovery? What resources and tools are available to help faith groups develop a mental health ministry or support effort?
What to Include in Your Information Packet Local NAMI Affiliate Brochure NAMI FaithNet Brochure Brief Referral List Fact Sheet or Illness Brochure(s) NAMI Education Brochures
What is Your Faith? NAMI has members from many different faith backgrounds NAMI welcomes individuals and families from all walks of life and spiritual traditions A person’s faith can be an important part of their healing and recovery I can say a word or two about my experience with mental illness and spirituality