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Creating Space for the Mentally Ill in the Faith Community

Brinkley, Jeffry; Kaul, Teri

doi: 10.1097/CNJ.0000000000000032
Feature: parish nursing

ABSTRACT: One in 17 or about 13.6 million Americans live with a severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) such as schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, or schizoaffective disorder. Faith communities can be key places of support for persons with SPMI. This article discusses how faith community nurses can prepare the community to initiate “Sojourner Ministries” to aid mentally ill persons.

Millions today live with a severe and persistent mental illness. Faith communities can initiate “Sojourner Ministries” to offer support.

Jeffry Brinkley, DNP, APRN, is a Faith Community Nurse at Christ Lutheran Church in Hilo, Hawaii. After retiring from the U.S. Public Health Service, he taught mental health in the baccalaureate program at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Teri Kaul, PhD, APRN, CNP, is the Dean of the School of Nursing at Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon, Wisconsin, as well as the Chair of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Accepted by peer-review 1/29/2013.

© 2014 by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship