NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and I have found it a good organization for connecting with others that are depressed. It’s inexpensive to join, and there are a number of on-line communities (kind of like chat forums) that focus on depression, including a spiritual-based site. The following is taken from a NAMI faith-based article.
The relationship between faith and mental health recovery is unique because it is entirely dependent on the individual. Spirituality is essentially a personal experience that can be
shared with others in churches, synagogues, temples and other places of worship. Similarly, recovery is dependent on individual experience. That is why there are multiple accepted models of recovery. For example, some individuals are able to achieve recovery and wellness through individual therapy and medication. Others may forego the medication and prefer a peer support or group therapy setting.
For the faithful, a religious or spiritual path to recovery might be a preferred option. Throughout human history, religion and spirituality have shaped daily life and culture. Spirituality can be understood to offer great benefit in terms of meaning, purpose and vitality. Therefore many faith-based communities regard religion and spirituality as the ultimate recovery tool.
The NAMI STAR Center is committed to pursuing initiatives relevant to the faith-based communities. The STAR Center recently partnered with Deacon Donald Clark to conduct a teleconference titled Recovery and Wellness in African American Faith-based Communities: Building Relationships that Build Community. Deacon Clark educated participants on the many recovery resources offered by community African American churches. The recording is available for free from the STAR Center.
STAR Center is also preparing to release a self-help, peer support and service provider tool titled Multicultural Competence, Intense Spiritual Experience and Mental Health. This resource highlights the major findings from a STAR Center workshop regarding multicultural competence, intense spiritual experiences and mental health. It presents the recommendations developed by participants from diverse backgrounds who met over two days using a consensus workshop process. The STAR Center will be widely distributing this tool free of charge as well as developing a training to enhance the contents in the coming months.
NAMI is a secular organization nationwide. That they would advance the spiritual side of depression is a tremendous endorsement that dealing with your spirit can be an important part of the healing process for depression. As I’ve said before, for me it was the capstone to my overcoming depression.