May is Mental Health Month
Did you know that one out of every four families experiences mental illness? When your parish gathers, nearly everyone there will know someone who has a mental illness of varying severity and length. Because of the stigma attached to it, few will come forward, but it is there.
Resources for parishes for Mental Health Awareness Month are listed below. Some are as simple as a prayer for the Prayer of the Faithful during Mass, or informational articles ready for printing. Others including prayer services and informational programs call for some planning. There is something for every parish that can help to give hope to those who live with mental illness.
Resources are listed below whenever possible they are in both Spanish and English.
A community of faith is a community of prayer. As Catholics we have an obligation to pray for one another , and through our prayers affirm our relationship as Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
Including the concerns of persons with mental illness, their families and those who care for them, is an important way of showing care and support.
(In Spanish and English)
Click here for Prayers of the Faithful for Mental Health Awareness.
St Dymphna is the patron saint of persons with mental illness; Read more about her life and legacy.
(In Spanish and English)
(Art by Louise Udovich
Click here for more information about St. Dymphna.
These bulletin and newsletter articles will help to educate parishioners and encourage parishioners to welcome persons with mental illness, and reach out to family members.
Click here for the bulletin articles.
Welcomed and Valued
The Resource Manual features 90+ pages of information, perspectives and tools to assist in the ministry with people with mental illness.
The Bilingual DVD (English with Spanish captions) features in depth looks at people with mental illness and how they participate in parish life.
Work of the Network
Join in the work of the National Catholic Network on Mental Illness to learn from people around the country who are helping parishes to welcome persons with mental illness and their families.
(In Spanish and English). To learn more about the Network's activies, click here.
Learn about local resources and how to use them effectively.
Most local community mental health agencies are interested in connecting with community groups. Find out how to contact your local agency and ask them to come and share information at a parish staff meeting, general parish meeting or other group. Ask about the best way to help someone find help or to make a referral.
Click here more information from faith based organizations concerned about mental illness within church communities follow the links below.
National Alliance on Mental Illness: NAMI.org
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
Click here to go to the NAMI website.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): samhsa.gov
SAMSA is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.
Click here to go to the SAMSA site.
Personal Stories: Learn first hand about mental illness and its effect on persons and families
Read the stories of a mother (Click Here) and son (Click Here)
Watch families speak of their experience, in Spanish.
(Testimonios - Testimonies)