NAMI conference calls on faith communities to erase the stigma of mental illness

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – A first-of-its-kind conference explores new partnerships to support people with mental illness.

NAMI Kansas — the National Alliance on Mental Illness — kicked off its “Pathways to Hope” conference on Friday.

The event brings together people living with mental illness, their family members, mental health providers and community members to create conversations about mental illness, and specifically to explore how faith communities can support people living with a mental health disorder.

“(This conference aims) to bring the conversation about mental illness to our faith communities and to our mental health care providers, in the hope that the two can come together with families and peers and work together simultaneously to make an effort, to dent the stigma of mental illness,” said Sherrie Vaughn, executive director of NAMI Kansas.

Melissa Brunner, 13, moderated a panel discussion during Friday’s session. The conference continues on Saturday.

NAMI groups across the country are hosting similar events, with people able to participate both in person and virtually.

People can find more resources and learn how to get involved on the NAMI Kansas website.

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