Resources & webinars available for Mental Health Sunday, May 19

On Sunday, May 19, United Church of Christ congregations will be celebrating the birth of the Church in ways that show that the transformative power of the Holy Spirit is still breathing new life upon God’s children, especially on those struggling with mental illnesses.

May 19 is not only Pentecost Sunday this year, but it is also UCC’s Mental Health Sunday.

Held on the third Sunday in May, Mental Health Sunday is a time for congregations to begin life-giving and life-saving conversations around the need to walk alongside those who are experiencing mental illnesses, and to work to dismantle the stigma that still exists.

The UCC Mental Health Network offers an extensive library of resources to help congregations facilitate these conversations.

“We have to be able to talk openly about mental health, especially as it is impacting so many in our country,” said the Rev. Dr. Sarah Lund, UCC’s minister for disabilities and mental health justice.

While May 19 is Mental Health Sunday in the UCC, Rev. Dr. Sarah Lund reminds congregations that “every Sunday” is a time to talk about mental health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 in 5 adults live with a mental illness, and over 1 in 5 youth (ages 13-18) have had a seriously debilitating mental illness.

Webinars scheduled to inspire and inform

This year, two webinars are scheduled as part of Mental Health Awareness Month, which was designated in 1949.

On Friday, May 17 at 1 p.m. (EST), Lund will be leading a conversation about faith and mental health for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) “Faith Weekend of Action” webinar. (Click here to register.)

The webinar will talk about resources available from national faith-based organizations. It will also review SAMHSA Faith Weekend of Action materials and the SAMHSA Mental Health Awareness Month Toolkit.

The following week, Thursday, May 23 at 3:30 p.m. (EST), Lund will host “Nurture the Soul: UCC and the Mental Health Journey: It’s the W.I.S.E. Thing to Do.” Information will be shared on how the Mental Health Network’s W.I.S.E. program (Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive and Engaged) is helping to reduce stigma and promote mental well-being, and how churches can become a W.I.S.E. congregation. (Click here to register.)

While May focuses on mental health issues — and a designated Mental Health Sunday is set aside within the UCC — congregations are encouraged to use the mental health materials available to them throughout the year. Lund often reminds pastors and laity that “every Sunday is mental health Sunday.”

For immediate help call the SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or dial 988, the suicide and crisis lifeline.


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Categories: United Church of Christ News

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