The Unitarian Universalist Mental Health Network History
In 2018 a number of individual Unitarian Universalists who were interested in mental health started meeting and jointly decided that the time was right to form a UU Mental Health Network to work collectively on mental health issues that affect our congregations and society at large. As a starting point, a covenant and a mission were written, and a decision was made to apply to the UUA to become an official “related organization”. Later we decided to incorporate and seek non-profit status with the IRS.
In May of 2019 we created a set of bylaws and submitted paperwork to become incorporated in the state of Michigan. Karl Pannanen, one of our members who is an attorney lives in Michigan and handled these matters on a pro-bono basis.
In June of 2019 we presented a “poster session” at the UUA’s General Assembly in Spokane in which we discussed our newly forming organization with attendees at the General Assembly. As a result, we doubled the number of people who wanted to be part of this effort!
In July of 2019 our incorporation was successfully obtained, and paperwork for our application to become a UUA “related organization” was submitted to the UUA.
In September of 2019 the first Board of the UU Mental Health Network was appointed. The members of the first Board were:
President: Barbara Meyers
Vice President: Karl Paananen
Secretary: Janet Holden
Treasurer: Carol McGough
At Large Members: Sandy Goodwick, Henry Katzman, Erin White
In March of 2020, we received 501 (c)(3) Non-profit status from the Internal Revenue Service, meaning that donations to the UU Mental Health network are tax exempt.
In October of 2020, the first election for the Board of the UU Mental Health Network was held. The members elected to the Board were:
President: Rev. Barbara Meyers, 2-year term
Vice President: Karl Paananen, 1-year term
Secretary: Janet Holden, 2-year term
Treasurer: Julie Bond, 1-year term
At Large Members for 2-year terms: Sandy Goodwick, Erin White ; At Large Member for a 1-year term: Roddy Biggs
In June 2021, we adopted a new mission statement and a new vision statement developed and voted on by our membership.
In October of 2021, there was an election. The Board members were:
Vice President: Karl Paananen, 2-year term
Secretary: Erin White, 1-year term, replacing Janet Holden
Treasurer: Julie Bond, 2-year term
At Large Member for 2-year term: Roddy Biggs
At Large Member for 1-year term: Stephanie Joseph, replacing Erin White
The UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST MENTAL HEALTH NETWORK, is driven by a single goal. Our Mission is: to empower the Beloved Community in honoring each individual’s unique mental health journey towards wellness.
We envision a world where the Beloved Community: is a place where all members feel welcomed, understood, and held in love; engages in respectful curiosity to understand emotional distress; welcomes open, authentic, and fearless sharing about mental health; and passionately commits to mental health justice.