Mental health recommendations made

The mental health caucus of EqUUal Access, a group of UU volunteers who support equality and access for UUs with disabilities, has created a resource called “Mental Health Issues and Recommendations,” for use by congregations.

The 30-page document, available free of charge online, was created to guide congregations in relating to people with mental disorders, including understanding their abilities, welcoming them into congregations, and advocating on their behalf.

The document was created following the shooting deaths at Newtown, Conn. in December 2012. EqUUal Access wanted to raise awareness, according to the document, “of the stigma placed on people who live with mental illness, the roles the UUA and UU ministers can play to confront the discrimination, the need for ministers to provide comfort and acceptance to those being marginalized, and the importance of the language UUs use about mental illness and those who live with it.”

The document is useful for adult education courses, sermon preparation, membership and hospitality committees, and discernment about inclusion.

More information on EqUUal Access’s mental health caucus is here.


Mental health ministries thrive

From November’s InterConnections feature story, online at

When the Rev. Barbara Meyers began a mental health ministry at the Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Fremont, Calif., in 2005 it was the only one. Not anymore. Now there are several others, including Quimper UU Fellowship in Port Townsend, Wash., and Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, Colo.

Establishment of a mental health ministry generally requires one committed person within a congregation or a small, dedicated group to make it happen, says Meyers. That’s the case at both Port Townsend and Golden. Meyers has written a curriculum, The Caring Congregation Handbook, about educating a congregation about how to be intentionally supportive of people with mental disorders and their families.

At the Quimper fellowship Judy Tough had been a volunteer with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). That work grew out of the fact she has family members with bipolar disorder.

What would happen, she wondered, if congregations could become a place where mentally ill people, as well as families of those with a mental illness, could feel safe talking about it?

Go to the full article.