ICS Lunch and Learn Offers Personal Stories & Practical Ideas for Helping People with Mental Illnessby Hot Off The Press (Release) on Sep. 25, 2012, under Press Releases
TUCSON—According to NAMI Southern Arizona, nearly 1 in 10 Pima County residents lives with a severe mental illness. Many of these individuals and their families will seek advice and solace from a faith community. To empower congregations to better serve people impacted by mental illness, Interfaith Community Services is presenting “Mental Illness Awareness: Becoming a Welcoming Community,” a lunch and learn seminar. The event takes place on Thursday, October 11 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2331 E. Adams St., as part of 2012 National Mental Illness Awareness Week.
The lunch and learn features UA President Emeritus Dr. Peter Likins, who will speak about his family’s experience dealing with the stigma of mental illness and the misunderstanding that surrounds it. Dr. Likins’ talk will be followed by an open discussion with members of local faith communities to help participants make the most of the session. Faith leaders, congregational volunteers, and anyone with an interest is welcome to attend. Registration is $10 per person and includes lunch. Seating is limited. Participants can register by calling ICS at 520.297.2738 ext. 233.
“Faith communities are places where people seek comfort and help when faced with health and emotional issues, but many faith communities feel they don’t know how to respond to people with mental illnesses,” said Karen MacDonald, ICS Faith Engagement Manager. “People who attend this session will hear about one family’s first-hand experience dealing with mental illness and get practical ideas from local congregations that have active support and awareness programs.”
“Regardless of our faith tradition, all of us are called to create places of worship that are welcoming,” noted Rev. Steve Keplinger of GraceSt. Paul’s Episcopal Church. “While all of us want to be homes of inclusiveness, the practice is much more difficult. How do we properly honor and respect, for example, those with mental illness, while simultaneously safeguarding the rest of the community? Gaining the professional tools to accomplish both is critical. It is for this reason that we are honored to host this program presented by Interfaith Community Services.”
The seminar is one of several programs ICS is putting in place to follow-up on its conference, “Faith Communities & Mental Illness: Tools for Response and Care,” which took place in April. The conference was attended by over 400 faith and community leaders and health care professionals from across southern Arizona and Phoenix. ICS is also offering a free resource kit to help faith communities connect with local mental health organizations and develop programs for their congregants and the community. Major funding for the conference, resource kits, and lunch and learn was provided by The David C. and Lura M. Lovell Foundation. For additional information, please visit the ICS website at www.icstucson.org or call 520.297.2738 ext. 233.
About ICS: ICS provides food, job assistance, and emergency financial assistance to Pima County residents in need and mobilizes volunteers to assist seniors and disabled individuals with Mobile Meals, transportation, home repairs, calls and visits, and health and safety referrals. ICS offers compassionate support by connecting over 600 volunteers and 66 faith communities with our community’s most vulnerable residents.From nutritious food to health evaluations to a ride to the doctor’s office, ICS assists over 25,000 people a year. ICS has received Charity Navigator’s highest four-star rating three years in a row for its fiscal responsibility and best practices.
Interfaith Community Services
2820W. Ina Road, Tucson, AZ 85741-2502; www.icstucson.org
Contact: Alison Betts, Communications and Grants Specialist, 520.297.2738 ext. 229; email@example.com