Community Missions, Inc. will present its 11th annual Interfaith Community Prayer Service for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 5. The service will again be hosted by First Congregational United Church of Christ, 822 Cleveland Ave., Niagara Falls. 

The Interfaith Prayer Service marks the National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery & Understanding. Established by Congress, this day of prayer falls on Tuesday of Mental Illness Awareness Week, which is the first full week in October. The service will feature readings, prayers, and music offered by representatives of various faith traditions and community members.

One in five adults experience mental illness problems every year. Although many people understand that mental illness is a medical condition, individuals and families affected by it are still often subjected to stigma and discrimination. 

“In recent years, and especially since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many more people have become aware of the challenges of living with mental health issues,” said Rev. Mark Breese, agency minister at Community Missions. “Although this growing awareness is encouraging, there is still a long way to go when it comes to ending the injustices created by the unnecessary and widespread stigma associated with mental illness. Our prayers will focus on these issues.”

The service is currently planned as an in-person event and will also be available via a livestream on Community Missions’ Facebook page. There will be restrictions on the number of attendees, and they will be required to wear masks. In the event that COVID-19 cases rise, or recommendations change about gatherings, the service will shift to an online only event. Any such changes will be announced on the Community Missions website and social media accounts.

As the service date approaches, more information about the speakers will be provided.

Visit www.communitymissions.org/community-prayer-service for additional information. More information about Mental Illness Awareness week at nami.org/miaw.

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