Mental Health Ministries

Faith Group Resources

Congregational Resource Guide: Mental Health Ministry Resources

Congregational Resource GuideCarole Wills, M.A.R. challenges faith communities to move beyond the silence, ignorance, and prejudice that so often characterize congregational members in their relations with persons who suffer from mental illness. She has developed an extensive and fully annotated list of more than one hundred mental health ministry resources. A shorter list of ten most highly recommended resources for individual, small or large group use is also offered. Both lists include printed and audio-visual resources for faith communities, clergy and lay pastoral caregivers and the general public. In addition, links to mental health-related organizations are provided.

A PDF file of the Congregational Resource Guide can be downloaded here.

Presbyterian Church USA – Comfort My People

Comfort My People is a new resource on mental illness just released by The Presbyterian Church USA. You can download this resource or purchase copies through the Presbyterian Distribution Service (PDS). Additional Copies are available at $4.00 each from the Presbyterian Distribution Service (PDS), 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY 40202-1396, or by calling 1-800-524-2612. The PDS order number is #02-052-09-003

Church of the Brethren – Wellness Study Guide

The Church of the Brethren has a very helpful wellness guide available as a free downloadable resource. While it addresses whole person wellness and not just mental health, much of what is presented certainly relates to mental health. You can download this resource by visiting the Church of the Brethren Health and Disabilities website at

Jewish Reform – Caring for the Soul: R'fuat HaNefesh – A Mental Health Resource & Study Guide

This study guide, written by Rabbi Richard F. Address, was created in response to the need to raise awareness of and reduce the stigma within congregations regarding individuals and families who are dealing with mental health issues. These issues reside within every congregation of every denomination. Part of creating a caring and supportive congregation is the need to break down barriers of shame and fear that often are associated with mental health issues. This 136-page study guide should be used by lay and professional leadership within congregations to create a variety of educational programs. It includes a selection of relevant sacred texts, traditional and modern readings for use in services and support groups, sample sermons, services and programs, background information on mental illnesses, related Reform response and UAHC resolutions, and other resources for congregations and individuals.

Union of American Hebrew Congregations (Reform), Department of Jewish Family Concerns, 633 3rd Ave., 7th Floor, New York, NY 10017; (212) 650-4296; Congregational manual available in 2003.

Unitarian Universalist – Mental Health Ministry

The Caring Congregation Program is a congregational program of seven workshops focused on welcoming and supporting people with mental disorders and their families into our congregations. An eighth workshop trains leaders to be teachers of the curriculum. The Caring Congregation Handbook and Training Manual, Barbara Meyers, Will To Print Press, 2005. Mental Health Information for Ministers is a document written by Barbara Meyers for ministers to help in their interactions with parishioners with mental health challenges. Resources available at

Catholic Church – Welcome and Valued

The following resources can be downloaded in a PDF format at

For other resources and the DVD, Welcomed and Valued, visit

For list of Models of Ministry to People with Mental Illness and Their Families from Deacon Tom Lambert, Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago – Commission on Mental Illness, click here.

Christian Reformed Church – Let's Talk! Breaking the Silence Around Mental Illness in our Communities of Faith

Download Let's Talk Study Guide by clicking here.

Download Let's Talk Leader's Guide by clicking here.

For more resources on ministry to people with mental illness, go to the Faith and Hope website at

NAMI FaithNet Resources – Reaching Out to Faith Communities and Bridges to Hope

Bridges of Hope is a resource designed by NAMI FaithNet Advisory Committee members to give NAMI members a user friendly, scripted power point presentation to use when speaking to faith communities. The Reaching Out to Faith Communities training tool was previewed at the NAMI national convention in Chicago this past summer. The Reaching Out resource is designed to give background information and useful tools in preparations for reaching out to faith communities. Once persons have the information, tools and confidence, they can use Bridges of Hope to educate and empower faith communities on the importance of talking about mental illness to create caring congregations for persons living with a mental illness and their families.

Three topics are addressed including: What is mental illness and what is its impact?; What role can faith communities play in supporting and caring for people with mental illness?; and Who is NAMI and what does it offer faith communities? Length of the presentation depends on the speaker’s pace and amount of discussion encouraged. It can be used in its entirety or in sections, depending on the audience’s familiarity with the subject matter and time allotment. Both Reaching Out to Faith Communities and Bridges of Hope are available to be downloaded from the NAMI FaithNet micro-site at

Pathways to Promise – Mental Health Ministry Training Resources

A number of training modules have been developed by Pathways to Promise. They are available on the Pathways to Promise website,

A Toolkit for congregations to help you with practical activity

Downloadable Microsoft PowerPoint presentations for three brief basic trainings:

You may download the above presentations for your own use.

You will also find below the presenter's guides (Microsoft Word format) for each course.