Mental Health Ministry

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Mental Health Healing Service

Tuesday, May 20th from 7-8 p.m.

Join us for this interfaith service in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month . Co-sponsored by NAMI/ Manchester and the Unitarian Universalist Society: East.

The service will include readings, music, candle lighting and testimonials to recovery from mental illness. Light refreshments and fellowship will follow the service.

The service will be held at Unitarian Universalist Society: East, 153 Vernon Street West, Manchester. For more information, call us at 860-646-5151.


Unitarian Universalist Chalice

Unitarian Universalist Society: East Mental Health Ministry

Mental illness is pervasive in the United States–far more than most people realize. In many faith communities, mental illness remains unspeakable. At UUS:E we are committed to ending the stigma surrounding mental illness. Most importantly, UUS:E’s mental health ministry seeks to make mental illness speakable. Having a culture and climate where we can talk about depression, or any other brain disorder, is of utmost importance. Somehow, we need to make a shift in our thinking to include brain disorders the same way we consider body disorders. Whether someone has cancer or depression, they don’t expect to be shunned because of either of them, but it happens. A lot of it has to do with how we name it, what language we use to describe it. We are dealing with people who are our friends or family members, people we love. We are looking at ways to show compassion for one another. We need to connect on a very human, heart-to-heart level.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

During the month of May at UUS:E we will be giving everyone a chance to stand up and be counted in the fight for mental health awareness. Our Mental Health Ministry, with the help of the Pastoral Care Committee, has planned a month of activities filled with information, opportunities to learn and ways to actually help out in the common goal of reducing stigma surrounding mental illness so that those who need the help will not be afraid to seek it.

Sunday, May 4, 2014 our service will be based around the true stories from people who have been able to rise from the devastation of mental illness and reclaim their rightful place in society, as contributing mem¬bers. The Free at Last Players will supply the spotlighted stories, with a question-and-answer time included, under the guiding hand of Sarah Karstaedt. It promises to be an exceptional service.

Saturday, May 17, 2014 is the NAMI Walk held in Hartford’s Bushnell Park. You may wish to partici¬pate by walking with the UUS:E MH Ministry (be there between 9:00 a.m. and 10 a.m., walk starts at 10) and/ or donating to the fundraising. To donate, go to, find Connecticut and click on it. It will take you to a screen that says DONATE?NOW. When you click on that, another screen opens and you type in UUSE MH Ministry for the team name to donate to. If this all sounds too complicated, please see Sarah Karstaedt or Sharon Gresk before or after services between now and the 17th. We will be glad to accept your check made out to “NAMI Connecticut” or sign you up for walking. NAMI makes a huge difference in the lives of people living with a mental illness and offers great support to their family members and friends. This is a great way to show your support.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014, from 7-8 p.m., there will be a Healing Service that NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) has presented at other churches in past years and is presenting at UUS:E. All are encouraged to participate by coming with an open mind.

Saturday, May 31, 2014 Mental Health Summit: At our last meeting, participants decided we should meet twice a year, and this is it! We are meeting at the Oak Grove Nature Center at 9 a.m. We’ll begin with fellowship and a continental breakfast. At 10:00 we’ll engage in a service project together, most likely spreading wood chips on the nature paths and cleaning up garbage from the grounds. Everyone is invited to join the group for this service project. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to the UUS:E office at (860) 646-5151 so that we can plan appropriately for refreshments.

UUS:E’s Mental Health Ministry provides support and recommends resources to people who have, or have had, a mental health diagnosis in their lives, as well as people who are caring for family members and friends who have, or have had, such a diagnosis.

Mental Health Affinity Network is a support network that discusses various aspects of mental health/mental illness/brain dis-ease. If you would like to get involved, have questions, or just want to talk, contact 860-646-5151 or

Mental Health Caregivers Support Network is a support network for caregivers and families/friends of people with mental health issues. If you would like to get involved, have questions, or just want to talk, contact the office at 860-646-5151 or

Need advice on securing state and federal benefits related to mental illness? Contact Ida Gales at 860-646-5151.

Need advice on navigating school systems and accessing mental health resources for children? Contact Mary Young at 860-646-5151.

Want information on resources available through NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness)? Contact Sarah Karstaedt at 860-646-5151.

Watch our Adult Programs, Classes and Ongoing Groups pages for special events and classes.

Pastoral Care Ministries

Caring for each other in times of personal challenge or crisis is at the heart of our congregational culture and mission. In partnership with the minister, UUS:E’s Pastoral Care Committee helps us carry out this very important internal ministry. For more information, click here.