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Mental Health

Mental health is an issue that affects all our our communities and increasingly, resources to support people affected by mental illness and substance abuse are disappearing.  Faith leaders and faith communities are often places where people turn for support, but often we don’t know how to respond or be helpful.  We’ve listed a number of resources that we are aware of to help support that capacity of faith communities to be present for and responsive to the needs of people who are in recovery from mental illness and their families. There is hope!

Advocate Aurora Faith and Mental Health Specialist and Liaison Services

Services

  • Mental health specialists to assist clergy in managing mental/behavioral health issues within their communities. Call for a one-on-one consultation: 630.929.9103.
  • Assistance in accessing services for congregants and clergy
  • Monthly consultation/support call with clergy
  • Education and training for faith leaders and their congregations
  • Linkage and referrals
  • Partnership and collaboration

For more information, contact Amy McNicholas at amy.mcnicholas@advocatehealth.com or Rochelle Johnson at rochelle.johnson2@advocatehealth.com.

Where to call and what to do if you need help now!

SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  1-800-273-8255

We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator

The Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator is a confidential and anonymous source of information for persons seeking treatment facilities in the United States or U.S. Territories for substance abuse/addiction and/or mental health problems.  Find treatment anonymously and confidentially.

Mental Health Recovery Booklet

A pamphlet from AdvocateAurora Faith and Health Partnerships program with quick tips about how faith communities can provide support for people in their recovery journey from mental illness. Includes a list of resources designed for faith communities.

Interfaith Mental Health Coalition

IMHC is a regional interfaith coalition serving the metropolitan Chicago area that is helping congregations to support their members who are dealing with mental illness and substance abuse. The coalition includes representatives from area mental health service organizations, health care providers, national faith-based mental health programs, grassroots organizations and people in mental health recovery. The IMHC meets regularly and holds events all around the region. Contact Robert Skrocki, Communications Liaison, at  contact@interfaithmhc.org  630-802-0769 for more information.

Pathways to Promise: Interfaith Ministries and Mental Illness

Pathways to Promise is an interfaith technical assistance and resource center which offers liturgical and educational materials, program models, and networking information to promote a caring ministry with people with mental illness and their families.  They have tool kits like the one below, PowerPoint templates, brochures, posters. It’s a great site for congregations on mental illness.

Mental Health Ministry Toolkit

Archdiocese of Chicago Commission on Mental Illness

The Commission on Mental Illness educates and resources parishes on the spiritual and supportive needs of persons with serious mental illnesses and their families.  They provide educational workshops, distribute bulletin inserts and pamphlets to congregations, and provide referrals and networking for people with mental illness.

They also support a great program called Faith and Fellowship, a faith-sharing program that enables parishes to effectively provide spiritual and social support for adults with mental illness. Faith and Fellowship groups consist of 10 to 15 adults including approximately equal numbers of persons with a mental illness and volunteers from local churches. They meet semi-weekly as partners in prayer and socialization. The meetings feature:

    • A time for prayer
    • A time for quietly shared activities
    • A time for a reflection on the meeting theme (Symbol, Life experience, Scripture, Music)
    • A time for Agape

For more information contact Connie Rakitan at 708-383-9276.

The Commission and Faith and Fellowship are part of a larger group of Catholic ministries called Mental Illness Ministries.

Mental Health Ministries

Mental Health Ministries is a national organization that is a wealth of information and resources designed to help faith communities journey with people who face mental illness.

MHM has produced numerous materials on suicide prevention. Find a list of resources here. Two of their most recent resources to help educate congregations about suicide:

For more information, contact Susan Gregg-Schroeder at Mental Health Ministries at sgschroed@cox.net or visit their website at www.mentalhealthministries.net.

They also have resources for congregations on mental illness–brochures, worship resources, bulletin inserts, study guides and tool kits, and videos. See their Study Guides in English and Spanish below, but go to their website for many more resources.

Mental Illness Study Guide

La Enfermedad Mental y las Familias de Fe

NAMI

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website has:

  • Clear, easy to understand information on mental illness
  • Peer support and education
  • Family support
  • Advocacy agendas
  • Resources for fighting stigma

You can also find local groups and chapters for your area.

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)

Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator

The Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator is a confidential and anonymous source of information for persons seeking treatment facilities in the United States or U.S. Territories for substance abuse/addiction and/or mental health problems.  Find treatment anonymously and confidentially.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

Reduce Shame and Stigma

One of the most important strategies for reducing shame and stigma around mental health is just talking about it.  SAMHSA offers a suite of tools and resources for setting up community conversations about mental health.

Community Conversations About Mental Health: Discussion Guide  A guide for holding a successful and productive conversation.

Information Brief. Background information about mental health issues, treatment and support.

Planning Guide.  Ideas for ways to facilitate discussions and ideas for taking next steps.

Preventing Suicide

Suicide Prevention Competencies for Faith Leaders: Supporting Life Before, During, and After a Suicidal Crisis. Supported by SAMHSA, this new resource aims to help equip leaders of all faiths with the capabilities needed to prevent suicide and provide care and comfort for those affected by suicide.

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an exciting public education program that helps people identify, understand, and respond to individuals experiencing signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. MHFA was developed to help members of the community support an individual developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Recommended for people working with the public (nurses, teachers, public welfare workers, law enforcement, etc), as well as anyone who wants to learn more about mental health or feel more comfortable assisting someone experiencing a mental health problem.

What do Participants Learn?

This innovative 12-hour workshop teaches:

    • Basic knowledge of the potential risk factors and warning signs for a range of mental health problems
    • A 5-step action plan encompassing the skills to assess a situation, select and implement appropriate interventions, and help an individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional care
    • Understanding of the prevalence of various mental health disorders in the U.S. and the need for reduced stigma
    • Working knowledge of the appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help resources available to help someone with a mental health problem achieve recovery

The Community Counseling Centers of Chicago provide regular trainings on Mental Health First Aid.  You can attend scheduled trainings or request a training for your community. For more information or to host a training, contact Jessica Wheeler at jessica.wheeler@c4chicago.org or call 773.765.0814.

A joint project of Advocate Health Care & the OCEAN-HP at the University of Illinois at Chicago.