You Are Not Alone

One person, sharing his story, can truly make a difference.

That’s how the You Are Not Alone support groups began in Cary, with one man sharing his struggles with mental illness, and the local church community coming together to help.

“We want to create an environment where people can make the vital connections that will ease their feelings of isolation and help them find the places where their faith or spirituality can be part of healing,” said the Rev. Chris Furr, senior minister at Covenant Christian Church in Cary.

“The groups continue to grow, and those who are participating are building relationships that are an important part of living with the impact of mental illness.”

May is Mental Health Month, a good time to address the stigma of mental illness. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, reports that one in four American adults experiences mental illness in a given year, and many seek no mental health services due to societal and religious stigmas.

You Are Not Alone, with separate groups for those living with mental health issues and for their family and friends, is an effort to erode this stigma. Each group has two facilitators, one a mental health professional and one a ministry professional.

While the groups explore spirituality as a component of positive mental health, Furr notes that all viewpoints are welcome.

Group meetings are held on the first and third Thursdays at 6:30 to 8 p.m., at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cary, located at 221 Union St. Childcare is offered, by licensed providers.

“We hope these groups will be a place where people can find the strength to tell their stories in whatever communities they belong to, religious or otherwise,” Furr said. “One person’s courage to speak often becomes another person’s permission to speak. That’s what we want, dialogue and real community.”

For more information, call (919) 481-4715 or email

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