Faith leaders hold mental health conference

Faith leaders hold mental health conference

CREATED Apr 27, 2012

Reporter:  Jessica Chapin

TUCSON (KGUN9- TV) - Leaders of all faiths are coming together for one united cause.  They're working to remove the stigma from mental illness.

The Faith Communities and Mental Illness:  Tolls for Response and Care conference included workshops and guest speakers Friday, held at the St. Philip's in the Hills Episcopal Church.  The day-long event was inspired in part by the belief that tragedies like the January 8th shooting might be prevented if people like Jared Loughner had more resources and access to mental health care.

Religious leaders say often times the church is the first place people turn to for help, and they are dealing with more mental health issues not than ever before.

"We all realize the need is great," said Rev. Greg Foraker, "and it's so necessary that we equip and give faith communities the tools to help people around us."

Funded by the David and Lura Lovell Foundation and organized by Interfaith Community Services, the conference included faith leaders, mental health care providers and advocates.  The Lovell's son was diagnosed with schizophrenia in the 1950's, when the disease was not recognized by most doctors.