Tucson’s Interfaith Community Services will host a day-long conference Friday to explore the intersection of faith and mental health issues.


ICS expects more than 500 people will attend the conference, which aims to raise awareness about mental illness and its stigma, mental health first aid, suicide prevention and other important mental health issues. It is geared toward faith communities, and Veda Kowalski, ICS faith community mental health outreach specialist, said there’s a good reason for that.

"We know that about 40 percent of individuals will turn to their faith community leaders to address their mental illness concerns," Kowalski said. "So that’s why we want to connect our faith leaders, our community leaders, and individuals out in the community with information, knowledge and resources so that they know what to do.”

The event is open to the public, and participants may register online or at the conference. It will include presentations and workshops, and a resource fair featuring more than 15 local groups working in mental health.

The Faith Communities and Mental Illness: Mind, Body, Spirit and Community conference will take place Friday, April 25, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in the Catalina United Methodist Church, 2700 E. Speedway Blvd. Registration and breakfast begin at 8 a.m.