Information from the UCC MHN board of directors

The UCC Mental Health Network is seeking people who are involved in, committed to and passionate about mental health ministry.

We have been encouraged by the national setting of the national UCC to become a 501c3, non-profit organization. In this process, those of us who have been working to help this happen are at the point of welcoming those who would like to be on the initial UCC MHN Board of Directors to send an application to us.

Our present initial directors is composed of persons who live with a mental health challenge or are in recovery from substance abuse, who are professionals who work in the mental health field, who are lay or clergy who are involved in their congregation’s ministry in mental health, and/or are family members of persons who are living with a mental health challenge. Our mission statement is, “The United Church of Christ Mental Health Network works to reduce stigma and promote the inclusion of people with mental illnesses/brain disorders and their families in the life, leadership and work of congregations.”

We have developed a website (www.mhn-ucc.blogspot.com) which includes Congregational Toolkits, resources for Mental Health Sunday, as well as the WISE Congregation for Mental Health among other topics. WISE is a covenant that a congregation could adopt, becoming a Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive and Engaged congregation in mental health. We have developed this into a resolution which will be considered at the UCC General Synod, June 2015, in Cleveland. We have also partnered with UCC Disability Ministries in hosted 4 national UCC Widening the Welcome: Inclusion for All Conferences. The fifth one will be Sept. 24-26 in Hartford, CT.

Someone who is interested in becoming an initial director must be a UCC church member, regularly reads, responds to, and is comfortable with using email; and can devote a minimum of five to 8 (5-8) hours a month to this work, which includes a monthly conference call meeting of 1 ½ hours. The Board of Directors also intends to meet in person annually and there will be financial support. The term for a Director is 3 years and can be renewed for another term of 3 years.

Some of the specialized gifts we are seeking are: web and social media development and communication skills, creatively develop programs and write or solicit resources, thoughtful ways to do fund-raising, financial skills, deal positively with conference calls, and enjoys interaction with an active team. In exchange, you will grow in your understanding of the impact of mental health challenges throughout this country and you will be able to use your gifts in many ways to offer compassion and faith-filled in service to others, especially focusing on congregations concerned with mental health.

We encourage those who are interested to visit our website at www.mhn-ucc.blogspot.com to learn more about us. Click here for an application. After due consideration and prayer, if you are led to apply we will welcome a conversation with you. If you have any particular questions, please email Alan Johnson, revalan2004@comcast.net.