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posted Mar 9, 2018, 7:02 PM by Website Director   [ updated Mar 12, 2018, 9:51 AM ]

NEWS RELEASE

February 20, 2018

NAMI Fort Wayne
Lutheran Foundation
Receives Grant from
The Lutheran Foundation
for Development of FaithNet Program


NAMI Fort Wayne (National Alliance on Mental Illness) has received a grant from The Lutheran Foundation in the amount of $12,200 to assist in the development of NAMI’s FaithNet Program.  FaithNet is an educational program on mental illness for faith communities.

NAMI Fort Wayne is the local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots organization focused on improving the lives of individuals and families living with mental illness through education, support groups, and advocacy. With the help of the grant, NAMI Fort Wayne will further the development of FaithNet, a mental health outreach program that encourages communities of all faith traditions to be welcoming and supportive of members who struggle with the effects of mental illness.  The Fort Wayne program was launched late in 2017 with the goal to reduce the stigma of mental illness by advancing the knowledge of mental disorders and promoting the vital role of spirituality in recovery.   

Through the program, teams of volunteers visit faith communities upon request to present Bridges of Hope, a PowerPoint of facts and statistics on mental illness coupled with the presenters’ personal stories.  The 40-minute presentations demonstrate ways in which faith-based communities can help remove the stigma of mental illness and create hope.  Presenters provide folders of information as well as a resource book and the link to The Lutheran Foundation’s LookUpIndiana.org website and 24-hour helpline.  

Promotion of FaithNet has led to other significant opportunities for NAMI to spread its message, such as preliminary conversations with church leaders who have not yet committed to host a Bridges of Hope presentation, participation in a panel discussion, and presentations made to secular communities.  NAMI is prepared to follow-up with continuing support.

One in 5 Americans lives with a mental health condition.  Since people often turn to faith communities for help in times of crisis, faith leaders, more than any other professional group, find themselves in the role of “counselor.”  It is important to know how to approach someone who may be struggling.

“Since NAMI Fort Wayne’s Out of the Shadows Conference for faith leaders in 2015, we have been aware of great interest and need in our community for this type of program,” said NAMI Fort Wayne President Angela McMahon.  “We are honored to be entrusted by The Lutheran Foundation to address that need.”

Any religious organization interested in the program is encouraged to contact the FaithNet coordinator at faithnet@namifortwayne.org.


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