Virginia Interfaith Committee on Mental Illness Ministries (VICOMIM)
Our Mission Statement
Paint a Different Picture
We are committed to:
- Educating clergy and laity toward an awareness and sensitivity within the faith communities about mental illness.
- Offering programs, assistance, and resources to faith communities developing their own programs for ministry with persons with mental illness and their families.
In response to the vision of the 1992 General Conference of The United Methodist Church, Virginia United Methodists established a Coordinator for Ministry with Persons with Mental Illnesses in January 1995. An advisory committee evolved into the Virginia Annual Conference Mental Illness Committee. In January 1999 the name was changed to reflect the active interfaith nature of the ministry: Virginia Interfaith Committee on Mental Illness Ministries (VICOMIM).
Since 1995, educational materials have been made available free at Annual Conference each year. On October 8, 1996, the committee put the Virginia Conference in The United Methodist Church history book: it was the first time a United Methodist Church conference had planned and hosted a training event for pastors on the topic of mental illness. This event answered the question "Why Should the Church be Involved in Mental Illness Ministry?" Video and audiotapes of this training event are available.
1998 -- Similar events have been held every other year for both clergy and laity, "How the Church Can Respond in Ministry." Nine talks from this event are available on audio cassettes.
2000 --"Structure and Funding for these Ministries." This event is available on audiocassette. A ListServe communication network was established. You can join this group by clicking on the following link: Send a blank e-mail to: VICOMIMNetemail@example.com. After you subscribe, you may post messages by sending an e-mail to: VICOMIMNet@yahoogroups.com
2002 -- "Dialogue with Seminaries" featuring seven seminaries providing the Virginia Conference region with clergy and faith community leaders. A complete transcript is available free on CD-ROM by request. A videotape is also available.۬۬۬
2004 -- "Creating a Caring Community" co-sponsored with NAMI-VA. Audio recordings of each workshop sessions are available on CD.۬۬۬
2006 -- "Shattering the Secrecy" held on Oct. 21 at St. Mark's United Methodist Church in Midlothian, VA. The focus is on teen depression and suicide prevention.
VICOMIM sponsors a 10-hour course on mental illness ministries at the Virginia Conference School of Lay Speaking Ministries in Blackstone, Virginia. This course, known as "Creating a Caring Community with Persons with Mental Illnesses," was also taught at UMC Southeast Jurisdictional Conference (SEJ) in Lake Junaluska, NC, in July 2002. That class is available on video.
In addition to Virginia Conference clergy and laity, representatives from the following organizations serve on the committee:
- American Association of Pastoral Counselors
- General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church
- Board of Global Ministries of the Virginia Conference United Methodist Church
- Mental Health Association of Fredericksburg
- Mental Health Association of Virginia
- Mental Health Planning Council of Virginia
- National Alliance for the Mentally Ill - Virginia
- National Alliance for the Mentally Ill - Rappahannock
- Parents And Children Coping Together
- Pathways to Promise: Ministry and Mental Illness
- Rappahannock Area Community Services Board
- Virginia Council of Churches
- Clergy and laity from various other faith communities including Baptist, Jewish, Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baha'i Faith
Inquiries may be made by calling 1-800-768-6040 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org