When Mental Illness happens, it happens to the whole family.
Do families turn to their houses of faith for help ? And if they do, what happens?
We explore this in Episode 44- with 3 moms, one Rabbi and one Pastor. It doesn’t cover all faiths, of course, but it’s a start.
Guests: Rabbi Evan Schultz, Congregation B’Nai Israel, Connecticut
Rev. Mariah Furness Tollgaard, Pastor
- Are you aware, as a faith leader, about mental health issues (especially SMI) in your congregants?
- What does your faith say about SMI?
- How do you, as a faith leader, respond to families dealing with mental illness?
- Is learning about Mental Illness part of your training?
- What part does stigma play in talking openly about SMI? - is it taboo to talk about it?
- How can we as activists/advocates help faith leaders serve their constituents?
According to Research (lifeway.inc):
- Only a quarter of churches (27 percent) have a plan to assist families affected by mental illness according to pastors. And only 21 percent of family members are aware of a plan in their church.
- Few churches (14 percent) have a counselor skilled in mental illness on staff, or train leaders how to recognize mental illness (13 percent) according to pastors.
- Two-thirds of pastors (68 percent) say their church maintains a list of local mental health resources for church members. But few families (28 percent) are aware those resources exist.
- Family members (65 percent) and those with mental illness (59 percent) want their church to talk openly about mental illness, so the topic will not be a taboo. But 66 percent of pastors speak to their church once a year or less on the subject.
Guide for Faith Leaders from psychiatry.org
Yom Kippur Sermon re mental illness
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Miriam Feldman – Artist, Mom, Author “He Came in With It”
Mindy Greiling – member of the Minnesota House of Representatives for twenty years. Activist, Legislator, Author (“Fix What You Can“)
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Miriam (Mimi) Feldman