NAMI Faithnet



Discover the Resources at NAMI FaithNet

NAMI National FaithNet has exciting new resources for utilization by NAMI members in their advocacy to their places of worship.  These resources are available for downloading on NAMI FaithNet website.

These new modules are proving to be very helpful in developing ministry for those with a mental illness and their families in Faith Communities.

To effectively utilize these Power-Point presentations for self or group study, it is necessary to download the files and save them to your desktop.  This will enable you to access the notes section, which is essential to gain the full value of the training.  The slides by themselves only contain the main points.  The notes are made available by clicking on View in the tool bar at the top of your screen after the Power Point slides have been downloaded.

Education leads to understanding.

Understanding leads to empathy.

Empathy leads to loving compassionate care.

Because of the need for education to start this chain reaction, NAMI FaithNet of Orange County initiated a monthly training and sharing session (except December) for those attempting to initiate or expand ministry with those affected by mental illness.  The session included a discussion of NAMI FaithNet’s outreach and other NAMI programs (e.g. Family to Family, Peer to Peer and etc.), which can play an important role in the education of those in our congregations who have a mental illness and their families.

These new modules are also designed to be helpful for advocating to our fellow parishioners who do not have a mental illness.  Reaching the 80% who do not have a mental illness or have a family member with one of these “no fault” disorders is particularly important in our attempts to develop a sustained ministry in Faith Communities.

Please be assured that these modules are not intended to replace any of NAMI’s programs.  They are designed to work hand-in-hand with them.  Those of us on the six member NAMI National FaithNet advisory group strongly recommend taking NAMI’s Family to Family or Peer to Peer class before participating in Faith Community outreach.


Reaching out to Faith Communities

 Bridges of Hope

We have two educational modules on our Web site, which are composed of Power Point slides and discussion notes for each slide.  Although some of the content is similar, these two Power Point modules have different purposes.

The “Reaching Out to Faith Communities” module is a four-part training curriculum.  It is a self-guided instruction for individuals and groups.  It is useful for all NAMI members, but particularly useful for those who desire more training and preparation before engaging with religious communities

While the four sections are designed to be used consecutively and as a whole, they each can be studied independently.  Each section has about 40 Power Point slides plus corresponding notes.

 “Laying the Foundation” is Part 1 of our “Reaching out to Faith Communities” module.   It provides basic information about NAMI and NAMI FaithNet, the impact of untreated mental illness on our community, and why the Faith Community is such a valuable partner in mental health education, support and advocacy.

Opening the Door to Understanding and Dialogue about Mental Illness” is part 2.  It emphasizes the social, spiritual and practical impact of mental illness on individuals, family members, friends and co-workers.

“Sharing your Story” is part 3. It provides training for those who desire to more effectively tell their story about mental illness plus the role that NAMI and their faith have played in their journey toward recovery.

Sharing your story is particularly important when speaking to your clergy person, which I recommend as the first step in one’s attempt to initiate or expand ministry with those affected by mental illness.   When a member of the clergy in your own place of worship hears your story, he or she will become personally involved.  Personal involvement is by far the most successful mode of education.  When a clergyperson recognizes that 1 in 5 families in his or her congregation have someone with a serious mental illness and 1 in 10 of those sitting in the pews during worship services have one of these “No Fault” disorders, he or she will recognize the importance of developing ministry to, with and from them.

Looking Ahead and Following Up” is part 4. It addresses some common challenges involved with outreach to faith communities.  It will also help you look down the road to other ways that may unfold as you continue the dialogue with faith communities.

Whereas the “Reaching Out to Faith Communities” module is intended for self or group study, the shorter second module, “Bridges of Hope,” is intended to be used for presentations to entire congregations or groups within a congregation.

“Bridges of Hope” is a ready-to use, adaptable Power Point presentation, which is written from an interfaith perspective.  Therefore, it is useful for any faith-based organization.  If all of the 42 slides and all of the corresponding notes of this module are used, the presentation will last about 60 minutes.-

For shorter presentations the presenter can pick and choose from the slides and notes.  This is important, because there is a great variation in the allotted time for presentations within a place of worship.

Please keep in mind that if we want change, we have to get out there and bring it about. It won’t happen without us.

Forf more information, go to NAMI Faithnet.