In a recent webinar, “UCC and the Mental Health Journey,” Bishop Dr. Allyson Abrams, UCC Mental Health Network chair, spoke about the challenge of those who even with the privilege of accessing mental health therapy can still falter in the long run, if they do not have the support of community.

“(Faith communities) can help by sharing information about what resources are available in the broader community,” Abrams says. “We are not to be saviors but supporters of others’ journeys.”

With a WISE covenant, FCC can join 50 other UCC churches, synagogues, conferences, and nonprofits and be that support.

If you didn’t have time to learn what a WISE church is during Mental Health Awareness month, here’s the answer: WISE is a UCC acronym describing a church that is Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive and Engaged. By adopting a WISE covenant, FCC makes a commitment to promote actions that reduce mental health and disability injustices. Living the covenant would mean we offer a listening ear to all who walk through our doors, regardless of whether they face mental health challenges, substance use disorders, or brain and neurodiverse disorders (e.g., ADHD, learning disorders, and autism).

FCC’s Social Justice and Witness committee recently voted in support of a Mental Health Awareness team proposal to draft a WISE covenant for FCC members to vote on in January 2025.

Our WISE covenant will advocate for a more just world in the following ways:

  • by reducing the stigma and promoting the inclusion of people and families with self-reported emotional and neurodiverse symptoms,
  • by learning about and validating their experiences,
  • by normalizing conversations around mental, cognitive, physical, emotional, and neurodiverse disorders,
  • by creating spaces that promote safety and a sense of belonging.

Learn more by reviewing the brochure produced by the UCC Mental Health Network: https://mhn-ucc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/UCCMHN_brochure_final.pdf/