Every month of May, organizations nationwide advocating for persons diagnosed with mental illnesses come together to present Mental Health Month. Our denomination (the UCC) participates as well, inviting local congregations nationwide to lift up issues that matter to this community: effective and equitable treatment, fostering peer support programs in the psychiatric system, cultivating wellness as well as treating illness, and pushing back against stigmatization.
June 26 is First Church’s turn! We’ve chosen this morning to “Widen the Welcome” on our own UCC Mental Health Sunday. Our Deacons and ministerial staff are coming together to consider how we can raise such efforts’ profiles and create channels of acceptance and recovery within our congregation. Here are three organizations (two local chapters of national non-religious entities and our denomination’s network) worthy of your support. NAMI Mass. and DBSA Boston reach out to friends and families of those suffering mental illness as well. They allow you to make a financial contribution through their websites: contact any of the three for more information.
National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts (NAMI Mass.), Woburn
Office 617-580-8541 / Compass Helpline 800-370-1985
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of Boston (DBSA), Belmont
United Church of Christ Mental Health Network
(Use contact form on website)
NOTE: The MHN continues to grow its WISE Congregation initiative, training local UCC churches to become Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive, and Engaged communities https://www.mhn-ucc.org/becoming-wise/ On their website, you’ll discover the steps necessary for WISE certification, covenants from model congregations, a toolkit and a .pdf booklet, and other resources.