Mental Health Ministries


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Toward a Christian Perspective of Mental Illness

By Brad Hambrick

(PDF, English)

Toward a Christian Perspective of Mental IllnessTowards a Christian Perspective of Mental Illness is an article by Brad Hambrick that offers five ways the church, corporately or through individuals can help someone facing mental illness.


Breaking the Taboo: How the Church Can Help People with Mental Illness

By Tricia Brown

(PDF, English | @ United Methodist Communications)

Breaking the TabooTricia Brown outlines the importance of educating faith leaders and congregations about mental illness. She shares ways to provide encouragement along with ways to support family and friends. ”Churches are places of refuge.”

10 Ways to Combat Discrimination with Compassionate Language

By Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

(PDF, English)

10 Ways to Combat Discrimination with Compassionate LanguageThe language we use to talk about mental health is especially important. It can have powerful consequences. While some may intentionally use unkind labels to describe individuals with mental health conditions, most people are just unaware that their language choices are harmful. To promote better understanding of appropriate language for mental health and to combat discrimination against individuals living with these challenges, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) has created ten principles of compassionate language.

Faith and Mental Health: Creating a Culture of Encounter and Friendship

By Curtis Ramsey-Lucas

(PDF, English)

Faith and Mental Health: Creating a Culture of Encounter and FriendshipThis article by Curtis Ramsey-Lucas explores how congregations and faith leaders can work with psychiatrists and the mental health community to develop a culture of encounter and friendship that includes persons with mental health conditions and their families. One in five Americans annually experiences mental health conditions ranging in severity from temporary psychological distress to serious depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder, yet less than one-third of these persons receives appropriate care, often because of stigma associated with these conditions and their treatments. The Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition (IDAC), a program of the American Association of People with Disabilities, has partnered with the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in an effort to change these statistics for the better. Through the Mental Health and Faith Community Partnership, IDAC and APA are encouraging a dialogue between two fields, reducing stigma, and accounting for medical and spiritual dimensions as people seek care.

Published by Review and Expositor (Vol. 113(2), 198-204, 2016), a publication of Sage Publishing.

The Stigma of Mental Illness in the Church

By Robyn Henderson-Espinoza 

(PDF, English | @ Sojourners)

The Silent Stigma of Mental Illness in the ChurchChristian ethics and moral imagination often diminish people who live with experiences of mental illness.  The author, Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, states, "If one of our greatest social sins is the lack of access to mental health care, it is a moral imperative begin a discourse around mental health in our faith communities so that we are not silencing those who live with experiences of mental illnesses."

Role of the Clergy: The Effects of Alcohol and Drugs on the Person and the Family

By Reverend C. Roy Woodruff, Ph.D.

(PDF, English | @ NACoA)

Role of the Clergy: The Effects of Alcohol and Drugs on the Person and the Family“There is a growing recognition, both inside and outside the framework of traditional religion, that there is a spiritual dimension to addiction. Unfortunately, clergy in many if not most major U.S. religious faith groups and denominations feel poorly equipped to deal with the problem as it presents itself in the their congregation.”

Reprinted from Seminary Journal, Volume 9, Winter 2003.

Mental Illness and Families of Faith: How Congregations Can Respond

(PDF, English)

It's Up To Us - Susan Gregg-Schroeder InterviewOne in four families sitting in the pews has a member dealing with mental illness. Yet our religious communities are often silent when it comes to understanding mental disorders as treatable illnesses. Persons struggling with a mental illness and their family members often become detached from their faith communities and their spirituality, which could be an important source of healing, wholeness and hope in times of personal darkness.

Published in The Christian Citizen (Vol. 2, 2014), a publication of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies.

A Call to Healing

By Craig Rennebohm, MDiv

A Call to Healing by Craig Rennebohm(PDF, English | @ American Psychiatric Association)

For 25 years I worked as a chaplain on the streets of Seattle, with individuals who were homeless and struggling with mental illness. My particular concern was for persons like Terry, who slept hidden on the doorstep of the church, silently going through the meal line, fearful and disconnected from care...

Published in The Christian Citizen (Vol. 2, 2014), a publication of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies.

10 Things Faith Community Leaders Can Do to Make the World a Better Place for People with Mental Illnesses

By the Interfaith Network on Mental Illness

A Call to Healing by Craig Rennebohm(PDF, English | @ INMI Google Doc)

Ten points for faith community leaders to reflect upon and practice to make their ministry a place welcoming to persons suffering mental illness.

Published by the Interfaith Network on Mental Illness.

Read Up: Creating Caring Congregations - An interview with Susan Gregg-Schroeder

(PDF, English | @ It's Up To Us)

It's Up To Us - Susan Gregg-Schroeder InterviewA supportive faith community can provide hope, support and the feeling of being connected to something bigger: a place where people are accepted for who they are. But unfortunately not all congregations offer this refuge to individuals who are dealing with mental illness or to their family members.

Published by It's Up To Us to Create a Healthy & Supportive San Diego, Spring 2013

Keeping the Holidays Bright When Your Child Has Social, Emotional or Behavioral Challenges

(PDF, English)

Helping Children Cope with the HolidaysThe hustle of the holiday season has arrived. While festive decorations, sweet treats and images of Santa Claus are exciting for most children, holidays can be difficult for kids who struggle with social, emotional or behavioral challenges. One year, my five-year-old was anxious that Santa Claus-- whom she identified as a stranger she had only met once at the mall—was coming into our house on Christmas night. She couldn’t sleep until we reassured her that we would not allow him in that year. For kids who are anxious, many things about the holidays can be uncomfortable--the details of holiday travel, altered schedules, and even attention from infrequently-seen relatives...

First published by Persevering Parent Ministries. Article written by Karen Crum, Dr.PH, Persevering Parent Ministries.

Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder–working to erase the stigma of mental illness

(PDF, English | @ The Brave Discussion)

Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder -- working to erase the stigma of mental illnessIn recent years much has been done to de stigmatise the language used around mental health and in Australia we have wonderful organisations like Beyond Blue, The Black Dog Institute and Sane to name just a few doing wonderful work...

Published by The Brave Discussion, August 2011

Bringing Mental Illness into the Light

(PDF, English | @ General Board of Higher Education & Ministry)

Bringing Mental Illness Into the LightThe church as one thinks of it serves different purposes in the lives of different people. For some, it is their opportunity each week to leave the outside world behind and reconnect with God. For others, it is a social occasion or perhaps even simply just an obligation. But what of those who absolutely need the church as a rock in their lives, those who struggle daily against the workings of their own minds? Are they able to see the church as not only a place to find spiritual wholeness, but mental wholeness as well? The hope of the Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder of Mental Health Ministries in San Diego, Calif., is that soon they will be able to do just that.

Published by the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry, April 2011. Article writen by Aaron Cross.

Why Clergy and Spiritual Leaders May be Reluctant to Address Mental Health Issues

(PDF, English)

Why Clergy & Spiritual Leaders May Be Reluctant to Address Mental Health IssuesAs an ordained minister and a person who lives with a mental illness, I am often asked why it is so difficult for many spiritual leaders to talk openly about mental illness.

Article written by Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder.

Curing and Healing

(PDF, English)

Curing and HealingWhen our daughter was first diagnosed with a mental illness, we prayed and prayed that God would take this terrible disease from her. We wanted it to be gone. She wanted it to be gone. No one should be suffering so. Other people were cured of their diseases. They took special medications or had surgery. They listened to everything the doctors told them and they prayed for their disease to be gone….and for many of them it was. There was a cure. Couldn’t there be a cure from our daughter’s mental illness too?

Article written by One Mind Mental Illness Ministry.

NAMI Takes a Multi-faceted Look at Faith and Mental Illness at 2009 Convention

(PDF, English)

NAMI Takes a Multi-Faceted Look at Faith and Mental Illness at 2009 ConventionWhat do a Reverend, a Rabbi and a Muslim imam have in common? It may sound like the beginning of an old-time joke, but this time there is no punch line. The 2009 NAMI Annual Convention in San Diego provided workshops on faith and mental illness hosted by the FaithNet Advisory Council to share innovative ideas and projects underway in the grassroots communities.

First published by NAMI Advocate, Fall 2009. Article written by Karen Costa.

Invisible Struggles: Churches learning to help individuals with mental illness

(PDF, English)

Invisible Struggles: Churches learning to help individuals with mental illnessAt one United Methodist Church in central Kentucky, members always turned up with cards, visits and gifts of food whenever a church family faced a crisis. But when someone in Angie O’Malley’s family was diagnosed with a mental illness in the 1990s, that didn’t happen.

First published by The United Methodist Portal. Article by Bill Fentum.

Seeds of Hope

(PDF, English | @ Esperanza's Hope)

Seeds of HopeIn the fall of 1991, I found myself in a deep depression. I was in my third year as a pastor at a large urban church in San Diego. I was enjoying my career and the opportunity to serve others. But a series of unexpected events hit me like waves until I was overwhelmed by despair. Little did I know that my journey in the darkness would lead to the discovery of a deep and abiding hope.

Published in Esperanza Magazine, Spring 2008. Article written by Susan Gregg-Schroeder.

How Faith Communties Can Help Veterans and their Families Readjust

(PDF, English)

How Faith Communities Can Help Veterans and their Families ReadjustTHE ROAD HOME from war can be more challenging than the road to war for both combatants and their families. While the reunion is wonderful, after the reunion there may be a difficult period of transition and readjustment. For those who serve in the military ("soldiers") and families with faith, their faith community can be a crucial partner in this process.

Stigma Brought Home

(PDF, English)

Stigma Brought HomeI recently went through the anxiety of waiting for the results of a biopsy for possible breast cancer. Gratefully, the biopsy turned out to be benign. But the ten days of waiting and wondering brought forth many feelings.

The Role of Faith Communities in the Midst of Disaster

(PDF, English)

The Role of Faith Communities in the Midst of DisasterPerhaps soon, faith communities will be recognized for their unique perspective that offers healing of the spirit, a way to hold together the fabric of a ravaged community, and hope for the future.

Published by the NAMI Advocate, Fall 2005.

The Face of Depression

(PDF, English)

The Face of DepressionPart of my journey has been to understand my bleakest times as times of fertile darkness.

In the Shadow of God's Wings

(PDF, English)

In the Shadow of God's WingsArticles from Sacred Journey - excerpts from Susan's book.