Bridges of Hope Faith Communities and NAMI

Report
Bridges of Hope
Faith Communities and NAMI
Outline
• What mental illness isn’t
• What is mental illness and its
impact?
• What is the role of faith and faith
communities in recovery?
• Who is NAMI? What resources
are available?
Torrents of Mental Illness
Bridges to Mental Health
Care
What Mental Illness Isn’t
• Sin
• A lack of faith
• A character flaw
• Weakness
• Demon possession
What Mental Illness Is
• A serious medical illness
• Includes depression,
anxiety, schizophrenia,
bipolar illness, OCD,
PTSD and more
• Are equal opportunity
illnesses
• Untreated, have long
reaching consequences
• Treatable for most
What
Does
an
Ill
Mind
Look
Like?
Single Photon Emitted Computed Tomography (SPECT)
Measures Blood Flow within the Brain
We Are All Human
Red Flags
• a marked personality
change
• an inability to cope with
problems and daily
activities
• strange or grandiose
ideas
• excessive anxiety
• prolonged depression or
apathy
Red Flags
• marked changes in
eating or sleeping
patterns
• thinking or talking
about suicide
• extreme highs and lows
• abuse of alcohol or
drugs
• excessive anger, hostility
or violent behavior
The Scope of Mental Illness
•1 in 4 adults experiences a mental
health disorder in a given year
•About 1 in 17 lives with a serious
mental illness
•45 % of the homeless population lives
with a serious mental illness
•More mentally ill people live on the
streets than receive treatment
The Scope of Mental Illness
• About 45 - 65 % of jail and prison
inmates and 70% of youth
involved with juvenile justice live
with a mental illness.
• Ten times as many mentally ill
people are in jail as in the hospital.
• We lose one life to suicide every
15.8 minutes.
The Scope of Mental Illness…
… among our
children
Treatment Works
Spiritual Questions
• 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?
Were Bible figures ever
depressed?
• Job 7:7 “my eyes will never see happiness
again.”
• Jer. 20:14 “Cursed be the day I was
born!”
• Psa. 22:1 “My God, my God, why have
you forsaken me?”
• Num. 11:15 “If this is how you are going
to treat me, please go ahead and kill me”
What did Christ say to the
hurting?
• Mat. 11:28 “Come to me, all
you who are weary and
burdened, and I will give you
rest.”
• John 9:1-3 Man born blind –
“this happened so that the
works of God might be
displayed in him.”
How Does Faith Figure In?
How Churches Often React
• Clergy denies or dismissed 30 – 40% of
mental disorders
• 15% said it weakened their faith
• 12% said it destroyed their faith
• Many families feel abandoned
• Mental Illness is commonly attributed to:
– Sin
– Weak faith
– Demonic influence
How Accepting are
Churches?
Is Prayer Enough?
Spiritual Isolation
How Words Impact
The Role of Faith
Communities
Faith Communities’
Unique Role
•Clergy are on the front lines
• Faith communities are more numerous
•They provide education settings
•They are committed to social justice and
caring
• Faith is a key component in coping and
recovery
Faith Groups Provide a
Bridge to Hope
Responding to Illness
When Ellyn had cancer
she received:
When Ellyn had mental
illness, she received:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Visits in the hospital
Notes and cards
Meals for her family
Prayers
Support for
treatment
• A ‘welcome back’
Visits in the hospital
Notes and cards
Meals for her family
Prayers
Support for
treatment
• A ‘welcome back’
Stigma
“In the Kingdom of God
there is neither Jew nor
Greek, people with
schizophrenia nor dementia,
only people loved equally by
God and called to live
humanly.”
- John Swinton
One-on-One Basic Care
• Learn to recognize and
accept.
• Assist in finding the help
needed.
• Support treatment and
recovery.
• Attend to the person’s
basic needs.
• Offer spiritual support.
Types of Spiritual Support
• Offer the gift of
presence
• Listen and share the
journey
• Hold them in thought
and prayer
What Does the Bible Say?
• Rom. 15:1 – Bear those without strength
• 1 Thes. 5:14 – Encourage the fainthearted
• Gal. 6:2 – Carry each other’s burdens
Don’t Use the Bible as a
Club
• My grace is sufficient – 2 Cor. 12:9
• Be anxious for nothing – Phil. 4: 6
• Just pray more
“Up until that point in my life, if you had asked me how to deal
with problems I’d say, ‘Man, get on your knees and talk to God,
get in the Word of God; he’ll straighten out any problems
you’ve got.’ That was my answer. And so I’m sure that the Lord
knew if he was going to use me at all, he had to get me past that
very juvenile answer to everything.”
- Charles Stanley
Providing Care to the
Family
•
•
•
•
Reach out – be a friend.
Learn about the illness.
Create a supportive network or group.
Learn what is helpful and hurtful to do or
say.
• Provide community resource referrals.
You Can Make a
Difference
“If we ignore … cries for help, we will be
continuing to participate in the anguish
from which those cries of help come.
A problem of this magnitude will not go
away. Because it will not go away, and
because of our spiritual commitments, we
are compelled to take action.”
−First Lady
Rosalynn Carter
What is NAMI?
• Grassroots organization
• Dedicated to building better lives
• Pillars of Action: Education, Support,
Advocacy, Research
• Three-tiers: National, State and Local
Affiliates
• “Peer-led” and “lived-experience”
approach
Education and Support
Programs

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