Mental Illness – Raising Awareness with Church & Community Leadership Everywhere

Raising awareness, decreasing stigma . . . Journeying alongside one another

MATC Forums on Community Education – Mental Health Raising Awareness and Decreasing Stigma in and through the Faith Communit

I pray this email finds you well. We had a very productive day last week as we met to discuss the Faith and Mental Health Conference. I appreciate all of you, those who were able to attend physically and those who were with us in spirit.

We covered a lot of terrain. I will provide more detail in the future but the key goals are to host a half day session at MATC on September 29 from 8 am – 11:30am. The general subject matter will be "Mental Health – Raising Awareness and Decreasing Stigma in and through the Faith Community." The primary audience will be faith leaders in Southeastern Wisconsin with an emphasis on the Greater Milwaukee Area. The presentation will be primarily structured through to NAMI and MIRACLE with input from all of our collaborators. We also want resource materials from our collaborators and, in particular, to develop a succinct resource guide incorporating key information from our collaborators.

The team will follow up soon but wanted to get information in your hands soon.

Contact me with questions.


MATC Forums on Community Education – Mental Health Raising Awareness and Decreasing Stigma in and through the Faith Communit

MATC Forums on Community Education

Primary Objective. The vision and engage your input for a series of quarterly community education forums to be hosted/convened at MATC during our 2016-2017 school year. My ultimate goal is to collaborate with you to provide effective and relevant community education for two populations in which I regularly engage:

  • MATC Community. 40,000 – 45,000 member community at Milwaukee Area Technical College (students and staff); and
  • Faith community. 250 – 500 faith leaders in southeastern Wisconsin.

Certainly, the opportunity would be open to others but these are the two primary populations I seek to reach. Because of the work you do, I am particularly focused on regularly raising awareness about the resource(s) that your organization makes available to the community.

Secondary Objective. The secondary goal is to begin an efficient and effective dialogue on creating information and opportunities to cross promote our respective work over the next year or so. Each of our organizations does extensive human service work in Milwaukee. I would like to get a thumbnail understanding of your core work and events to promote and support your efforts.

First Forum: Mental Health. The first community education forum we plan to host/convene is on raising awareness and decreasing mental health stigma in and through the faith community. The tentative date is September 29, 2016. This is modeled, in part, on a forum hosted by NAMI in 2014.

  • Mental Health/Illness in Faith Communities. The primary goal is to introduce community leaders (faith leaders in particular) to the realities of mental health challenges experienced in our community and our organizations on a day-to-day basis. We have people suffering in silence in our communities and in our churches and we want them to know that there’s no shame or stigma in sharing their life journey.
  • Community Resources. The secondary goal is to share with members of the community a short list and/or resource guide of services and organizations that exist in our community.

Community Organizations. For those of you who are community educators/resource providers, if you can provide (1) a description of your mission and key resources that you make available to the community and (2) a list of key events that we can promote and support over the coming year. For the community educators/resource providers, if you are able to send information and links fulfilling the request I described above, that would be helpful. It’s not urgent, but would help to fulfill the vision.

Faith Based Organizations‌. For those who are leaders of faith-based organizations, the goal is to make available to your membership information, events, and resources from these community educators/resource providers.

Partial List of Faith Based Invitees:

Partial List of Community/Civic Invitees:

  1. Amber’s Last Promise, Richard Whitehouse, Elmer Baacke (
  2. Black Health Coalition (Community Health and Wellness), Pat McManus, Jim Addison (
  3. City of Milwaukee Health Department (Community Health), Bevan Baker (
  4. County of Milwaukee, Terri Ellzey (
  5. Convergence Resource Center (Human Trafficking), Debbie Lassiter (
  6. Disability Rights of Wisconsin (DRW), Barbara Beckert (
  7. Great Lakes Urban Empowerment Solutions (GLUE)
  8. M&S Clinical Services, Mark Fossie
  9. Mental Health America, Martina Gollin-Graves (
  10. Milwaukee Area Technical College, Nicole Wheatley, Christine Litwin, Major Cooper (
  11. Milwaukee Health Services, Inc (Tito Izard)(
  12. Milwaukee Mental Illness Stigma Reduction and Recovery Coalition, Sandra Melcher
  13. National Alliance for Mental Illness of Greater Milwaukee (NAMI), Brenda Wesley, Peter Hoeffl (
  14. National Pan Hellenic Council, Bridget Robinson
  15. Prevent Suicide of Greater Milwaukee, Barbara Moser (
  16. Rogers InHealth/WISE (Mental Health), Sue McKenzie (
  17. Sojourner Family Peace Center (Domestic Violence), Liz Marquardt (

Core Planning Team Preliminary

  • Priscilla Hightower
  • Sandra Melcher
  • Amy Waldman
  • John Wenzler
  • Major Cooper
  • Brenda Wesley
  • Walter Lanier
  • Ylonda Glover
  • Terri Ellzey

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This entry was posted on July 5, 2016 by in Uncategorized.
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