Petition 80473

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Reinstate Mental Health Staff Position (80473-C1-¶1009-!)

The General Conference directs the General Board of Church and Society to re-instate the staff position with primary responsibility in the area of Mental Health. The United Methodist Book of Discipline shall be amended to add a new subparagraph following ¶1009.2, thusly:
¶1009.3 A staff person shall have the primary portfolio on Mental Health who shall serve as a resource for the church on appropriate ministries for those with mental illnesses and their families; be an advocate on their behalf to fund proper care, insurance coverage, and appropriate judicial handling of non-criminal behavior; and to address the prevailing social stigma attached to mental illness.

Financial Implications:
Annual total $95,000: $60,000 salary; 30,000 travel, office and secretarial help; 5,000 workshops, etc.

Rationale

1 of 4 families (including children) & 1 of 4 combat soldiers experience mental health issues; PTSD rampant natural following disasters; suicide third death cause in teens, second in ages 25-34; mentally ill marginalized; mental health ministries invisible; churches often sought first for help, yet ill-equipped.