Five Ways to build awareness and support people with Mental Illness:
1. Educate yourself about mental illness
In order to support people with mental illness in your parish, it is helpful to be aware of statistics, treatments and supports. Browse this evidence-based resource guideabout mental illness for faith and community leaders or take a Mental Health First Aid Course.
2. Learn from people who experience mental illness
Take extra time to learn from those who experience mental illness.Check out stories from the NCPD website, or invite members of your parish to share their story. Share NCPD’s Welcome and Valued video with your parish and use the Welcome and Valued manual for guiding questions and resources. Include the perspectives of parents, siblings, spouses, children, and extended family. Their experience with mental illness is also valuable for the parish community.
3. Pray about mental illness in liturgical settings and prayer groups
4. Post about mental illness and mental health in your parish bulletin, on your parish website, and on social media
A simple noteabout mental health can convey to parishioners with mental illness that they are welcome and valued. These posts can also remind the parish community of the prevalence of mental illness and urge them to address mental health concerns. Post this picture on your website or social media to share the fall mental illness awareness dates. (Remember to include an 'alt-text' or include the text of the image in the caption so that the picture is accessible.)
5. Share mental illness pamphlets with your parish
NCPD’s Council on Mental Illness created A Pastoral Response to Mental Illnessto provide recommendations for parish leaders, as well as information about advocacy, recovery, suicide prevention, and addiction.