United Church of Christ Mental Illness Network
In 1992 the Mental Illness Network began with a grant from the then American Missionary Association of the United Church of Christ. We began as a response to the need for families and others to communicate among themselves about their experiences as families, and in congregations. We know that 1 out of 4 families of your congregation is caring for loved ones experiencing a mental illness/brain disorder, and some of you are those persons.
Every two years there is a Network display at our national General Synod meeting. This display reaches out to new people and is a witness to our National and Conference Staff about this important ministry. We are members of and are represented on the UCC Disabilities Ministries. Together, we are committed to encourage congregations to begin the process of becoming an "Accessible to All" congregation. MIN advocates with the Pension Boards for health insurance coverage for these illnesses equal to all other illnesses covered.
The UCC Mental Illness Network (MIN) is reorganizing itself as of September 2009. We acknowledge the call of the UCC General Synod Resolution in 1999, "Calling the People of God to Justice for Persons with Serious "Mental’ Illnesses (Brain Disorders.)" The background statement reads: "There exists in society and even in the church, great stigma and discrimination against persons with serious "mental illnesses" (Brain Disorders); this is both a ministry and a social justice issue." Unfortunately, 10 years later that still is true!
As a newly reconstituted Steering Committee for the Mental Illness Network we are focusing on a national UCC gathering in 2010, having a presence at General Synod in 2011 in Florida, and offering new ways of communicating and building the network. For more information and if you have any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions, please email me, Alan Johnson, Chair of UCC MIN, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the Mental Illness Network website