Presented by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, the first-ever Interfaith Mental Health Meeting was held on Friday at the Creighton University School of Medicine campus in downtown Phoenix. The meeting, titled “Inspiring Hope,” was the vision of Bishop John Dolan as an offshoot of the diocese’s Office of Mental Health Ministry that opened in December of 2022.
Over 100 people from various faith backgrounds gathered for the groundbreaking event to examine how they can better serve as a partner for increasing education and advocacy around mental health. Representatives from the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, Jewish Family and Children Services, the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona, the Native American Community, St. Vincent DePaul, the Church of Latter-Day Saints, Catholic Charities, the Foundation for Senior Living (FSL), The Faithful City, and the Arizona Department of Health Services were among the groups involved in presentations and panel discussions.
“Today was a great first step in bringing the interfaith community together to have dialog around a very important issue, mental health,” said Dr. Maria Chavira, the chancellor and vice moderator of the curia for the Diocese of Phoenix. “There was a lot of great information shared and much learning gained throughout the discussions, and we look forward to growing through additional dialog in 2024.”
One of the many positive take-aways from the meeting will be the creation of an interfaith task force to increase advocacy and education around mental health issues in Arizona.