Yesterday afternoon at NAMI Peer-to-Peer Recovery Education Program, we had the pleasure of listening to Steve Pitman, Board of Directors President of NAMI Orange County, who shared his experience as a family member of those living with mental illness.
Here is a video of Steve Pitman giving a similar speech at The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church at Saddleback Church last March:
You can watch videos of the conference on the Mental Health and the Church YouTube channel:
Last March, I attended the conference and heard Steve Pitman speak. I briefly wrote about my experience on my blog post: The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church. The conference was a joint effort by Pastor Rick and Kay Warren of Saddleback Church, Bishop Kevin Vann of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, and NAMI Orange County, as well as other faith and community leaders. The conference was:
a one-day event designed to encourage individuals living with mental illness, educate family members, and equip church leaders to provide effective and compassionate care to any faced with the challenges of mental illness.
For many years NAMI has reached out to faith communities through FaithNet.
NAMI FaithNet is a network of NAMI members and friends dedicated to promoting caring faith communities and promoting the role of faith in recovery for individuals and families affected by mental illness.
NAMI FaithNet is proud to offer two programs and guides to assist NAMI Affiliate and State Organization grass root leaders with their faith outreach efforts. Learn more about Reaching Out to Faith Communities and Bridges of Hope.
[…] – BRIDGES Consumer Stages of Recovery – I covered the BRIDGES handout here and here when I learned about it in NAMI‘s Peer to Peer […]
I love our local President of Santa Cruz County NAMI. She’s an incredible person who has been through the fire and back. She lost her son to mental illness, and then she decided to help others facing mood disorders and has been very “hands-on” with her work. These extraordinary leaders who are associated with NAMI commit their lives to mental health advocacy starting at the grassroots level. I know you’re well aware that they’re truly incredible folks.
I’m glad that you had a good experience listening to Steve Pitman again; it’s nice that you were already familiar with him after attending the March conference.
I commend you for your ongoing commitment to the NAMI Peer-to-Peer Recovery course. It sounds like you’re definitely getting positive benefits from it, and you’re sharing your experience with a wider audience. Pretty cool. And very inspiring!
The idea is that for those people who go to church, their churches should be educated on how to remain inclusive and how to refer people to the proper care. Some people have been told to pray when what they needed was medication and/or psychotherapy.
By the way, my beliefs are quite liberal. I believe that EVERYONE has more in common than they have differences. We all need to love and be loved. Basically, that’s all that matters as far as I’m concerned. Of course we also need food, shelter, health care, etc. But I assume you get my point.
That’s why the outreach and training is so important. Often people first go to their church for help, so churches need to be educated on how to refer people to the psychiatric and/or psychotherapeutic care they need and on how to not discriminate against members who live with mental health issues.
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It seems NAMI has all bases covered. Although not a believer, I can see the benefit that churches can provide: not just emotional support but also practical living support. Great post Kitt
Thanks for sharing this, Kitt. I’ve never really gotten involved in NAMI, though I’m familiar with their work. I’m very thankful that NAMI does what it does! I’m also very thankful for any churches and church leaders who want to help those with mental illness; so often I hear stories of churches that discourage their mentally ill members or outright reject them, so it’s a lovely and welcome change to see something positive happen!