Mental Health Awareness Month
Catholic social teaching calls us to recognize that each person has dignity and all life is sacred. Pope Benedict XVI’s message for the 2006 World Day of the Sick addressed the issue of mental illness, stating, “Every Christian, according to [their] specific duty and responsibility, is called to make [their] contribution so that the dignity of these brothers and sisters may be recognized, respected and promoted.”
Pope John Paul II laid the groundwork for this in a 1997 address. “Whoever suffers from mental illness always bears God’s image and likeness in [themselves], as does every human being. In addition, [people with mental illness] always have the inalienable right not only to be considered as an image of God and therefore as a person, but also to be treated as such.”
One of the greatest obstacles for people with mental illness and for their families is overcoming the stigma the general public associates with mental illness. The stigma attached to mental illnesses forces many people to hide their struggles. Stigma is the biggest reason people do not seek help. Most of all, stigma erodes the dignity of the person and hinders us from seeing a person as an image of God. This May, help break the stigma around mental illness by learning more about mental health, and help us grow in being the welcoming and supportive Church family Christ calls us to be.
Find Education and Community
This eight-session course—designed for use in small groups—explores the realities of mental health and illness, as well as the vital need for faith-based community conversations about these topics. The sessions are accompanied by compelling films that feature the stories of Catholics living with mental health challenges, along with the insights of archbishops, theologians, and psychologists.
Find Encouragement and Advocacy
The Face of Mercy ministry exists to encourage and develop a better understanding of mental health in the Catholic Church, to enable its members to better reflect the love of the Father to those struggling with mental illness. It’s founder Micole Amalu, has a background in psychology, served as a FOCUS missionary, and calls the Diocese of Arlington home.
Find Professional Support
The IPS Center for Psychological Services, Divine Mercy University’s training clinic, is located on the University campus in Sterling. The IPS Center provides high quality, affordable mental health services including psychotherapy, personality assessment, educational assessment, vocational and religious assessment and various workshops to diverse populations in the Greater DC area.
For more information: 703-418-2111
firstname.lastname@example.org | ipscenter.org
Alpha Omega Clinic, with four locations in MD & VA, promotes mental health and marriage & family flourishing through quality, affordable mental health services that are integrated with the fullness of the Catholic faith. They offer individual, couples and family psychotherapy, as well as psychological and psychoeducational assessments. Clinicians are trained in the resolution of a broad range of psychological, emotional, social and educational problems, and remain faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. By seeking to aid clients to overcome human barriers to living their faith, they offer a holistic perspective which works with their faith rather than against their faith.
For more information: aoclinic.org | 301-767-1733