A110 Continuation and Expansion of Task Force on Ministry to Individuals with Mental Illness
Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring,
That the 80th General Convention continue The Task Force on Ministry to Individuals with Mental Illness, in order to aid in the direction and development and provision of resources, trainings, and curricula in pastoral and ministerial mental health care for The Episcopal Church, its provinces, dioceses, parishes, seminaries, schools, and affiliated organizations, among all of its bishops, priests, deacons, and parishioners; and be it further
Resolved, That The Task Force on Ministry with Individuals with Mental Illness be expanded to eighteen in its membership that represents a depth and range of professional, personal, familial, and organizational experience with mental illness, in order to successfully develop and provide aforementioned resources, trainings, and curricula;
Resolved, That the Task Force on Ministry with Individuals with Mental Illness, in its expanded version in conjunction with its development of and provision of aforementioned trainings, will develop and share resources for The Episcopal Church, its various organizations, and all of its people centered on pastoral and ministerial mental health care; and be it further
Resolved, That this expanded Task Force report back on its actions to the 81st General Convention; and be it further
Resolved, That the 80th General Convention request that the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget, and Finance consider a budget allocation of $21,700 to complete resources for churchwide distribution and use by the next triennium.
In the three-year period in which the Task Force on Ministry with Individual with Mental Illness has begun its work, the world and especially The United States experienced instability in ways that do not often occur to this degree or in this many simultaneous ways. The task force convened because mental health concerns in The Episcopal Church are finally being realized as part of our lay and ordained spiritual calling and not simply a secular psychological matter. As the three years of service for this task force come to an end, the situation of the world and country with respect to COVID-19, politics and leadership, and racism exacerbate stress, depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns for those in our churches and schools. This task force must continue as we, The Church, continue not just to observe, but to preemptively create systems through which both lay and ordained persons can seek, find, and execute healing practices around the strains of our times. The continuation and expansion of the task force will support the completion and distribution of informational resources, the implementation of trainings around the United States (and beyond) by which lay and ordained leaders can learn how to better recognize signs of mental health distress and minister to those in need of that crucial mental health care from a spiritual/religious standpoint, and the development of robust curriculum that will expand upon the trainings offered by partner organizations.