Faith and Mental Illness
Emerging Hope: Shining the Light of Faith on Mental Illness
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NAMI FaithNet is a network composed of members and friends of NAMI. It does the following:
- Assists the faith community in developing a non-threatening, supportive environment for those with living mental illness and their families.
- Shows the value of one’s spirituality in the recovery process from mental illness
- Shows the need for spiritual strength for those who are caretakers.
- Teaches faith leaders and communities about mental illness
- Encourages the faith community to advocate and to bring hope and help for those affected by mental illness.
NAMI FaithNet is not a religious network but instead offers outreach to all religious organizations. The program respects all religious beliefs.
NAMI FaithNet encourages all members of a faith community affected by a mental illness to talk to their faith leaders about how their faith impacts their life while living with mental illness. By telling their faith leader their story, he or she becomes personally involved, which is the best way to educate them about mental health. Understanding requires not only the attention of the ears and eyes, but also the heart. The community members also have the chance to gain spiritual support. Sadly, many shy away from speaking with their clergy person because of the effect the stigma of mental illness has had on their lives.