ABHMS Provides Leadership on Mental Health, Gun Violence Compendium

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ABHMS Provides Leadership on Mental Health, Gun Violence Compendium

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 4/17/13)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) has provided leadership for development of “Grounded in Faith: Resources on Mental Health and Gun Violence,” a new compendium of resources on mental health and gun violence.

Released by the Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition (IDAC), a program of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the publication is available online at www.aapd.com > Resources > Publications. ABHMS is a member of IDAC.

The compendium is a resource for congregational leaders, disability advocates and other concerned persons who wish to ensure that the ongoing debate around gun violence prevention neither stigmatizes people with mental illnesses nor deprives them of their rights and freedoms.

“We need a new dialogue about our nation’s insufficient mental health system,” said Curtis Ramsey-Lucas, ABHMS managing director, Resource Development, and chair of the IDAC committee that developed “Grounded in Faith.”

“‘Grounded in Faith’ can encourage that dialogue and serve as a springboard for action within and beyond communities of faith.”

Adds Ginny Thornburgh, IDAC convener and director of Interfaith Initiatives at AAPD: “When discussing mental illnesses and gun violence, policy makers, media pundits and opinion leaders need to honor children and adults with disabilities. That means seeing someone with a psychiatric disability as a person first—someone with a name, someone with dreams and goals, and someone who is a valued member of their community.”

The mission of IDAC is to mobilize the religious community to take action on disability policy issues with Congress, the president and administration, and society at large. IDAC is a diverse, nonpartisan advocacy coalition of 32 national religious organizations—including Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh traditions—whose core spiritual values affirm the rights and dignity of people with disabilities. ABHMS provides leadership for the coalition through participation on its steering committee.

ABHMS—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community and justice.

American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.