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CMI to Hold 12th Annual Interfaith Community Prayer Service for Mental Illness Recovery & Understanding

by Christian Hoffman
Wed, Sep 28th 2022 09:50 am

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. - Community Missions, Inc. will present its 12th Annual Interfaith Community Prayer Service for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 4:00 p.m. The service will be hosted by Niagara University at its new NU@822 property, home to the Levesque Institute for Civic Engagement and First Congregational United Church of Christ, 822 Cleveland Ave, Niagara Falls, NY 14305.

The event is part of Mental Illness Awareness Week, a national event designed to raise public awareness about mental illness and break down the stigma that too often discourages people from seeking help when needed.

The public is invited to attend the event, while it will also be available via a livestream on Community Missions’ Facebook page, found at

“Area leaders from various faith traditions will join to seek guidance and help in replacing misinformation, blame, fear, and prejudice with truth and life, in order to offer hope to those touched by mental illness,” says Rev. Mark Breese, Agency Minister at Community Missions. “With the clear challenges to mental health and wellness that were brought to light and caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that people of all faiths join together in prayer to offer hope and comfort to those struggling with mental illness in this new dynamic.”

The service will feature readings, prayers, and music offered by representatives of various faith traditions and community members. It is anticipated that traditions including Native American, Sikh, Jewish, Muslim and various Christian traditions will participate in this year’s event.

“The Levesque Institute for Civic Engagement has had a long-standing interest in promoting good mental health services and practices in the community,” says Dr. Karen Kwandrans, Associate Vice President, Strategic and External Relations. “We are pleased to partner with the broader faith community who have joined together for more than a decade here in Niagara Falls at this annual service. This event calls attention to the importance of supporting those living with mental illness.”

One in five adults experience mental illness each year, while one in every six American youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder annually. 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.

“It is so critical that we, as a society, squarely face the challenge of ending the unnecessary stigma associated with mental illness,” continued Breese. “This service is an opportunity for the wonderfully diverse faith community in Niagara County to come together to pray for both the healing of those living with mental illness, and to call for strong unified advocacy and community action to address the unnecessary injustice our neighbors living with mental illness too often face.”

For more information, please contact Rev. Mark Breese at 285-3403, ext. 2259 or


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By The Numbers...

In 2023, Community Missions provided:

12,108 nights of shelter

178,696 meals

2,780 individuals with clothing

3,562 care days in Youth Services

43,388 care days in Recovery Services

72,302 care days in Housing Services

467 reflections & resources for Faith Development


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