Mental Health

Mental HealthNearly one in five American adults have a diagnosable mental-health condition. The number of family members, friends, co-workers, and neighbors touched by those facing emotional challenges is exponentially higher.


Yet mental health remains stigmatized.


With more than 40 percent of those seeking help with psychiatric issues turning first to clergy, First Congregational’s Mental Health work group seeks to lift the stigma through education and resources.


The group’s mission statement reads:


First Congregational UCC, open and affirming to all, offers inclusion, support, and encouragement to people with mental illnesses/brain disorders and their families. Our mission provides and promotes understanding and compassion, and reducing stigma, though education, support activities, and groups for individuals and families affected by mental illness, as well as through advocacy for legislative support and collaboration with other mental health organizations.


The Mental Health work group has been educating both the congregation and the community by sponsoring First Congregational’s Adult Forum and Fellowship Supper and by making regular contributions to the church website, library, and newsletter.


Additionally, the team has forged a partnership with the local chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), whose Bridges of Hope program provides a framework for congregations to help members in need. On January 30, 2016, First Congregational became a Bridges of Hope member church.


Moving ahead, the group plans to bring its message to the broader community. Says team member Nancy Keswani, “We need to break the silence surrounding mental illness and lift the stigma, so that anyone facing a mental-health challenge can feel comfortable seeking help.”


Mental illness facts and figures

Five warning signs of mental illness

Mental-health resources in Henderson County

Bibliotherapy Reading List


Contact us to learn more about First Congregational.

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