Mental health conditions are common everywhere, including in our churches. People are dealing with a variety of mental health and substance use challenges every day. Due to stigma, many people may be reluctant to either seek help professionally or to speak about it with their pastor or other members of their church. This cant be changed. Congregations can become places of belonging, where truly everyone, including those with mental health challenges, is welcome, no matter where they are on life’s journey.
Congregations are invited to explore becoming “WISE” – Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive, and Engaged – for Mental Health by attending a conference on March 2 at City of Refuge Church in Oakland, offered by the United Church of Christ Mental Health Network. The conference is an opportunity for church members and leaders to learn about mental health, explore how our faith communities can support those among us with health challenges, attend workshops, and begin the steps to become certified as a WISE Congregation for Mental Health (following the UCC resolution passed at General Synod in 2015).
To learn more about the conference and to register, go to mhn-ucc.org. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. If you have further questions about the conference, contact Robin Kempster, member of the UCC Mental Health Network, at firstname.lastname@example.org.