Faith Connections on Mental Illness

Faith Connections on Mental Illness
940 Carmichael Street
Chapel Hill NC 27514

Service areas: We partner with faith communities in the triangle of NC area.

History and background of the organization: Faith Connections on Mental Illness(FCMI) began with a few persons in a Chapel Hill church aiming to stop the stigma of mental illness and battle the sense of isolation and rejection often accompanying mental illness. Individuals and houses of worship from all faiths were—and still are—invited to join the coalition. FCMI grew steadily and in 2014 received 501(3)(c) nonprofit status. Today, FCMI connects directly with more than 450 individuals and 50 houses of worship, which in turn impacts thousands of lives across our community and state.

Mission: Faith Connections on Mental Illness works with all local faith communities to advocate for and to support and educate individuals and families who are living with mental illness.

FCOMI believes in actively promoting education within faith communities to help them better understand the difficulties faced by people living with mental illness and how they can provide support within a loving, faith-based setting.

FCOMI believes that as people of faith, we are called to be active in social justice initiatives that help to educate the public and remove the stigma often associated with mental illness.

FCOMI believes in providing caring support directly to people managing their symptoms of mental illness and to their families, helping them through their struggles, and serving as an example to other faith-based organizations that strive to support people with this need.

Current Projects, Mental Health Initiatives Through education and advocacy in congregations and communities, FCMI offers support to those living with mental illness and to the people who care for and about them. FCMI members, called “connectors,” participate in monthly meetings, an annual conference focused on faith and mental illness, and other events that align with the FCMI mission. Connectors have gone back to their faith communities to start programs around mental health providing education, advocacy, and support. These initiatives have included support groups, Sunday school classes, easy access to local resources, and community events.

Since 2011, FCMI has hosted an annual one-day conference featuring nationally recognized experts speaking on issues related to faith and mental illness. This year on April 5th we will be having our 9th Annual Conference called, Hope and Healing: Faith Communities and the Suicide Crisis.

Monthly meetings typically feature an educational program, plus opportunities for exchanging information about relevant mental health community events every second Monday of the month from 3:30-5:00pm at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Chapel Hill. On Monday, January 14th we will be having a presentation and discussion on promoting inclusion and resilience in the faith community for families and individuals affected by Alzheimer’s and related conditions.