Bridging the Gap Between Secular and Spiritual: Mental Illness & Faith
“At the end of a service I ask everyone to rise if they or someone they love lives with a mental illness, and almost everyone stands,” said Barbara F. Meyers, a Unitarian minister during the NAMI FaithNet panel.
Three distinguished panelists led a session at the 2015 NAMI National Convention in San Francisco discussing how to connect faith communities into the mental health space, and how spirituality can be an important aspect of the recovery process.
Rev. Meyers’ ministry, the Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Freemont, Calif., focuses on mental health issues with the goal of bringing together congregations, health care providers and faith communities. She has been the leader of four initiatives in order to make this happen: Creating a program of support workshops for people living with mental illness and their families, starting a counseling program centered on spirituality integrated psychotherapy, producing Mental Health Matters, a public television program and creating a video series about people recovering from mental health issues.
Prior to becoming ordained, Rev. Meyers spent 25 years as a computer programmer. She decided to become a minister after her religion helped her through her own experience living with depression.