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         Mental Illness
                    & Spirituality

‘Out of the depths

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in loving memory of

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Vale June Wood Details

One of the founding members of

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A Call for Prayer

Mental Health Week 2015

Sunday October 4 – Saturday October 10

Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding

Sunday October 11, 2015

A Nouwen Network strongly proclaims ‘Any day is a good day to show support’ for those whose lives are affected by mental health issues. That said, Mental Health Week presents a unique opportunity for faith communities to raise awareness about this important issue. It offers a platform to educate about mental illness, and to help reduce the unfortunate stigma often associated with it. It is also a perfect time to promote things that we can all do to keep ourselves mentally healthy.

A Nouwen Network also believes that there is a great need for an annual Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding to be held here in Australia. We continue to invite individuals and faith communities to join with us in praying for mental health issues on the Sunday of, or immediately following World Mental Health Day 10 Oct. Workplaces of church organizations and schools are invited to participate in the Day of Prayer on a weekday of choice during Mental Health Week (which is always held to coincide with World Mental Health Day).

Throughout Australia people will participate in the Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding on Sunday 11 October. You are encouraged to begin to plan now to be a part of this effort to promote pastoral sensitivity to, and inclusion of, all whose lives are affected by mental health issues.

Angela D. Vickers, JD of NAMI Florida, and Gunnar E. Christiansen, MD, of NAMI California initiated the special Day Of Prayer For Mental Illness Recovery And Understanding in 2004. There are now many free resources available online from church and mental health ministry websites based in America. A Nouwen Network, a cross-denominational outreach, provides the access details for some of these, and Australian resources, on this website and our Facebook page.


God, we come before You remembering all those whose lives have been touched by mental illnesses. We give thanks for the people who have given of their time and talents to help those who are dealing with mental illnesses — in their own lives, or in the lives of their families and friends. We give thanks for the improvement in medication and treatment programs that have enabled persons with mental illnesses to live productive lives. We pray that our society would do everything possible to make early diagnosis and treatment a standard procedure. We pray that stigma be removed, so that both those who are unwell, and their families, get the appropriate help as soon as symptoms appear. Guide each one of us, and help us, as we endeavor to bring help and hope to all whose lives have been touched by mental health issues. Amen.

Read in unison

The faith community says to those people who suffer from the symptoms of mental illness, and to their family members:

We will walk with you. And God walks with you. You will not go through this alone.

Pray in unison

O Lord, you have searched us and known us
You know when we sit down and when we rise up,
and know our innermost thoughts.
You search out our paths and know all our ways.
Before we speak, you know our words.
When we were knit together in our mother's womb
You knew us as woman, as child, as man.
Wherever we go, Your hand will lead us.
So guide us along the pathways to hope,
that night becomes bright as day.
So lead us on our walk together,
that darkness is lifted from our hearts.
So encourage us that our sisters and brothers
Who have mental illness shall know that
they never walk

These prayers [slightly adapted] are by Margaret Ann Holt, UMC. They are from ‘Bulletin Insert Suggestions’ offered by NAMI FaithNet.

Other Websites with related Worship Resources:

The Catholic Church in Australia HERE

The Uniting Church in Australia, Queensland Synod HERE

The Church of England’s resources for mental health issues HERE

NAMI FaithNet HERE (select ‘For Clergy’)

Mental Health Ministries HERE  

The National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) HERE

The United Methodist Church HERE