Second Annual National Day of Prayer


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There was a great turnout Tuesday afternoon for the Second Annual National Day of Prayer for Behavioral Health Recovery and Understanding in San Mateo County. The event, which was co-sponsored by BHRS’ Spirituality Initiative and NAMI San Mateo, was held at County Center in Redwood City. Representatives came out from the Jewish, Christian, Native American, Muslim and Hindu communities, just to name a few.

Supervisor Don Horsley stepped up to the mic to proclaim October 3 the National Day of Prayer in San Mateo County. Eduardo Tirado of Voices of Recovery introduced the various faith and secular leaders who took to the stage to share prayers, songs and words of encouragement and inspiration for those experiencing mental health or substance use issues. One highlight was the Native American Initiative, whose co-chairs, Gloria Gutierrez and Sonia Mays, led attendees in the ritual “Honoring the Four Directions.” The Pacific Islander Initiative closed the program with a harmonious Tongan traditional hymn.

While the diverse group of speakers represented a number of different religions and beliefs, their support for the behavioral health community was unanimous. Many touched on the fact that mental health issues do not reflect a personal or spiritual failing, and the important role that faith can play in the recovery process.

“As God is merciful and compassionate, I am called to be merciful and compassionate in my daily life, said Maha Elegenaidi, CEO of Islamic Networks Group, in her presentation.
“Those who are suffering any form of mental illness are certainly among those who have the most claims on Muslim mercy and compassion. Let us pray that religion and science can be seen as working together to lift this burden for anyone who suffers from mental illness.”

We’re looking forward to another great day of compassion, prayer and understanding next year!