One of the newest ministries at our church is called W.I.S.E. for Mental Health. WISE stands for Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive and Engaged. This comes out of the United Church of Christ Mental Health Network (http://mhn-ucc.blogspot.com/). Everyone struggles with mental health challenges at some point throughout their lives. For some people they’re temporary, and for others, living with mental illness is part of their daily life. We want to be a congregation which is supportive of everyone, especially those who are struggling with mental health concerns. We are working on learning how to best support one another, including what language to use. We believe that stigma is a big factor which prevents people from discussing this topic, and the first step towards combating that is talking about it, which is what we’re doing. We are also working on offering other events and resources to people in the congregation and community.
The WISE for Mental Health group meets on a regular basis, and anyone is welcome to join us as we work together to form this ministry. Additionally, here are some resources if you want to know more about how to address mental health concerns:
- National Alliance for Mental Health Concerns: https://www.nami.org/Home
- Helplines for different concerns: https://www.nami.org/find-support/nami-helpline/top-25-helpline-resources
- National Institute of Mental Health: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/find-help/index.shtml
- Mental Health Services in Massachusetts: https://namimass.org/nami-mass-compass-helpline/