Support and Education and Downloadable Resources

The following resources can be downloaded:

  • "Outline of 5 night parish series on mental illness" ( Parish series covering topics related to mental illness)
  • "16 SPECIFIC ACTIONS FOR PARISHES" ( Parish outreach ideas for ministry to People with Mental Illness and their Families)
  • "Weekly Bulletin Articles" ( Bulletin Articles for Raising awareness)
  • "Pastoral Support for People with Mental Illness and their Families" (A booklet describing the issues facing persons with mental illness and their families and providing ideas for churches to minister to them - 2019)
  • "Website List of Resources" (List of helpful Resources found on the internet )
  • "The NCPD Council on Mental Illness Resource Binder titled "Welcomed and Valued" (A binder of information for churches to minister to people with mental illness and their families)
  • "Justice Issues and Catholic Church Social Teaching" (Justice Issues affecting people with mental illness )
  • "Inclusive Church is like a STAIN GLASS WINDOW " (Reflection on Inclusion that speaks to stigma and the faith community )
  • "NAMI 12 Principles of Support with Scripture Applications" (NAMI 12 principles with supporting Bible passages put together by Judy Beckman along with Lucy Bell from Toledo, Ohio for use in their spiritual support group )
  • Links to Resource Material

    • American Psychiatric Association publication of Mental Health: a Guide For Faith Leaders
    • Pathways to Promise
    • Illinois National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
    • National Catholic Office for Persons with Disability
    • Mental Health Ministries - website for ministerial resources
    • Programs and Education

    • Annual Mass for persons with Mental Illness, their families, friends, and mental healthcare workers
    • Regional Masses (Held periodically throughout the archdiocese with parish sponsorship)
    • Workshops -- Educational workshops for clergy and lay persons
    • DVD called "Welcomed and Valued" with first person accounts of how faith and church have been important to people with mental illness, their families, and professionals. We have speakers who lead the discussion of this excellent DVD
    • Speakers who will address parish groups/organizations

    • Connie Rakitan has a Bachelor of Science degree in education (Western Illinois University, Macomb, 1973) and a Masters Degree in Pastoral Studies (Loyola University, Chicago, 1990) specializing in faith formation with persons with cognitive and psychiatric disabilities. In 1979, Mrs. Rakitan founded and is author of the content for sessions of Faith and Fellowship. Mrs. Rakitan serves as co-chair for the Chicago Archdiocesan Commission on Mental Illness, and is a founding member and co-chair of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability’s Council on Mental Illness. She has given workshops and presentations for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the National Catholic Partnership on Disability, the Archdiocese of Chicago, and for church groups and agencies across the country. Her articles and poetry have appeared in New Theology Review, the National Catholic Reporter, and the on-line NCPD MI Network News, among others. Connie may be contacted at or 708-383-9276
    • Deacon Tom Lambert - Tom's oldest daughter has a mental illness. In 1983 he was ordained a Deacon for the Archdiocese of Chicago, he currently is on staff at Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish in Chicago. He is a founding member and past co-chair of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability’s Council on Mental Illness; founding member (1990) and current co-chair of the Archdiocesan Commission for Mental Illness; advisor to Faith and Fellowship, Oak Park, Ill, a Faith based outreach program for people with a mental illness; a board member Pathways To Promise, an interfaith resource for out reach to people with mental illness and their families; and past advisory board member for NAMI Faithnet. In 2000, Tom completed serving 10 years on the Board of Directors for the State of Illinois’ National Alliance on Mental Illness including a 2 year term as President. He leads workshops educating clergy, religious and laity about mental illness and retreats and days of reflection for people with mental illness and their families. Tom wrote the booklet “Mental Illness and Faith Community Outreach” and spoken nationally about how Faith Communities can get involved in outreach, advocacy, and justice issues. Tom has led workshops on faith and mental illness for the Archdiocese of Chicago, Diocese of Gaylord Michigan, Diocese of St. Augustine Florida, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Diocese of Toledo Ohio, Diocese of Joliet Illinois, Diocese of Orange California, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and for the formation programs for Deacons in the Archdiocese of Chicago, and the Diocese of Peoria Illinois. Tom can be reached at or 773-525-0453 x221.

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