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: The mission of Faith Connections on Mental Illness is to connect across faiths in mental health ministry.
Educate: 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.
Focus on Youth: CMI Sponsored an event on anxiety led by Sophie Rigel, a Duke student, who spoke from personal experience. Over 100 youth attended, with the planning led primarily by youth ministries from ten local faith communities. We hope to have more events like this one. Our February Connectors’ meeting also has a focus on youth- check out our website for details.
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 our conference is going virtual on Thursday, May 6th, 2021, with the focus being Hope & Healing: Faithfully Practicing Community Inclusion, Click here to register and find out more information.
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 virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic and once we are able to meet in-person again they will go back to being held at at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Chapel Hill at the same time and date.