The Regional Council of Churches has been working with C.H.I.P.(Community Health Interfaith Partnership)a coalition of clinicians and professionals, nonprofit organizations, faith-based and secular agencies, public agencies, and congregations, to bring together in one place resources to help faith leaders effectively minister to those in their congregations and their communities who have mental or addictive illness. A majority of those with a mental illness turn first to a spiritual leader for help or are first recognized by clergy as someone who needs help. Yet, clergy are frequently not equipped with the resources to provide appropriate support and referral information.
We are more aware than ever before of the importance of caring for those with a mental illness and the consequences of our failures to properly diagnose and treat mental illness. The Compassionate Congregations Toolbox was created by C.H.I.P. to put into the hands of clergy and lay leaders the tools they need promote faith communities where awareness, welcome, support, appropriate referral, and spiritual care for individuals and families facing mental illness are provided, where barriers of fear and stigma are broken down by openness, education, and personal connection. Please have a look www.CHIPGeorgia.com
On the wesite you will find some history of the collboration, the leaders of the group, the members of the coalition, and the Creating Compassionate Congregations Mental Health Ministry Toolbox.