MHM Fall Spotlight 2021
Mental Health Ministries and
Pathways to Promise
Mental Health Ministries is a program of Pathways to Promise ( The mission and vision of Pathway to Promise are closely aligned with the mission of Mental Health Ministries.
  • Mission: P2P collaborates with faith and spiritual communities to share resources that assess, educate, and effect change to welcome, support, engage, and include persons with mental illnesses and those who care for them.

  • Vision: People living with mental illnesses and those who care for them are welcomed and supported in all faith and spiritual communities.

Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder has retire as Coordinator of Mental Health Ministries after first founding this ministry over 20 years ago. Jessica Dexter, from Pathways to Promise, will be carrying Mental Health Ministries forward in new and exciting ways.
Mental Health Ministries will continue to provide resources to erase the stigma of mental illness in our faith communities and create caring congregations for persons living with a mental illness and their families.
Fall has many important opportunities to address mental health issues. 
  • September is National Suicide Prevention Month and National Recovery Month.

  • October is World Mental Health Day (October 10) and the National Depression Screening Day (October 7).

Mental Health Ministries has sections under the Resource section with resources for Suicide and addictions. Please see the links below to help your faith community provide education and support. You are encouraged to visit these sections of our website to find resources best suited for your needs.

Suicide and Addiction Links


Our faith communities can be a place to talk openly about suicide, to provide education on recognizing the signs and symptoms, and a place to offer care and support for persons touched by suicide. To help educate our faith communities about suicide, Mental Health Ministries has put together a section with a wide variety of print and media resources on spirituality/faith and suicide. These are available under the Resource list on our website. 
Mental Health Ministries Brochure: Suicide: How Faith Communities Can Provide Hope and Promote Healing
The brochure, How Faith Communities Can Provide Hope and Healing, includes suicide facts and figures, risk factors and warning signs, what you can do as an individual and as a faith community can promote healing. It is available as a free download on our website. It is also available in Spanish

Mental Health Ministries Video: Suicide:
Healing After the Death of a Loved One
The Mental Health Ministries DVD, Suicide: Healing After the Death of a Loved One features an inspirational couple who lost their son to suicide. They share the story of how their faith community supported them and how they have used their painful experience to reach out to others. You can view this video at
Webinar: Suicide: Prevention, Attempts & Recovery
Pathways to Promise offers webinars as part of their Leadership Forum Webinar Program. . Suicide: Prevention, Attempts & Recovery is 30-minute webinar for faith communities. Webinar Speaker: AJ French, addresses these issues

  • Identify language which invites authentic discussion about suicide prevention, attempts, and recovery.
  • Recognize vulnerability to suicide.
  • Be proactive and responsive to self and others.
  • Acquire and share resources for prevention and recovery.

Video: Interfaith Perspective on Spiritual Practice & Suicide Prevention: The Role of Faith Communities
INMI (INMI – Interfaith Network on Mental Illness) offers Conversations for Connection. When people think of suicide, they often conceptualize it as a crisis of mental health. While this framework is often helpful in understanding the thought processes, emotional states, and how to help someone through treatment, the framework does not fully take into account the role of spirituality and faith. 

Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas gives a case study of one faith community's journey in suicide prevention and suicide grief support and later hosts a panel discussion with faith community leaders.
Resource Guide: The Role of Faith Communities in Suicide Prevention: A Guidebook for Faith Leaders
The purpose of this interfaith guidebook is to prepare leaders of all faith communities to prevent, intervene, and respond to suicide. It provides specific suggestions and tools.

Mental Health Ministries Brochure: Addiction: How Congregations Can Respond
The COVID-19 pandemic presents unique challenges for people with substance use disorders and in recovery. Alcohol and drug addiction cost the U.S. economy over $600 billion every year. In 2017, 34.2 million Americans committed DUI, 21.4 million under the influence of alcohol, and 12.8 million under the influence of drugs. About 20% of Americans who have depression or an anxiety disorder also have a substance use disorder. The brochure, Addiction: How Congregations Can Respond, is available in English and Spanish. (PDF, English | PDF, Español)
Video from Mental Health Ministries: 
Addiction and Depression
Three persons share their stories of addiction and depression that end in recovery. The full show is available on the Mental Health Ministries DVD set, Mental Illness and Families of Faith: How Congregations Can Respond, and on YouTube at
Toolkit:  Opioid Epidemic Practical Toolkit: Helping Faith and Community Leaders Bring Hope and Healing to Our Communities
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recognizes that faith-based and community partners eagerly and willingly step in to meet the needs of their colleagues, friends and neighbors — especially during a crisis. Their toolkit equips faith communities to respond to the current opioid health crisis — complementing their compassion and local understanding with the expertise of HHS.
The Opioid Epidemic Practical Toolkit

Toolkit: National Recovery Month – Join the Voices for Recovery
SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) offers a National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) toolkit to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders, and celebrate the individuals living in recovery.
Download the complete National Recovery Month Toolkit:
  • Mental Illness Awareness Week (Oct. 4–10)
  • National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Awareness Recovery and Understanding (October 6)
  • National Depression Screening Day (Oct.7)
  • World Mental Health Day (Oct. 10)
Mental Illness Awareness Week – October 4-10
Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is a national observance that was designated by the United States Congress and U.S. President in response to the increasing incidence of mental illness. It takes place during the first week in October. Mental Illness Awareness Week this year is Oct. 3-9.

Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is an opportunity to do something to raise awareness about mental illness in your faith community or to partner with community groups in your area for an event. There is a section on the Mental Health Ministries website with resources under October Mental Illness Awareness Week.
This e-Spotlight includes information and resources to help you make the most of this educational opportunity to erase the stigma of mental illness in our faith communities. Resources on the Mental Health Ministries Home page include:
The National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Awareness Recovery and Understanding – October 5
The National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding has been designated as the Tuesday of Mental Illness Awareness Week, which is first full week in October of each year. Mental illness networks and faith leaders are urged to work together so that they may recognize and prepare for this day in a way that works best for each faith community.

A resource with Liturgies to use for the National Day of Prayer is available for download on the Mental Health Ministries website. This resource is available in English and Spanish
National Depression Screening Day (NDSD)–October 7
National Depression Screening Day Observed: October 07, 2021, Held annually during Mental Illness Awareness Week in October, National Depression Screening Day (NDSD) is comprised of awareness events that include an optional screening component.
World Mental Health Day (10 October) is an international day for global mental health education, awareness, and advocacy against social stigma. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries. The theme for 2021 is working together to prevent suicide.

Article: Recovering from the pandemic:
5 ways to restore human connections
Now that millions of people are getting their vaccines and our communities are beginning to open up, behavioral health experts are discovering how isolation and loneliness have affected people and how challenging it may be for some people to feel comfortable with in-person human connection again.

Article - From Changing Lives to Preaching at iPads: How Clergy are Coping with the New Normal
Clergy have been forced to adjust to a “new normal” of leadership in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, a crisis that was unexpected both at its start and in its continuing duration. Religion News Service spoke with leaders from different faiths and locations across the country about how their professional lives have changed in recent months and how they are coping. Muslim, Sikh, Jewish and Christian faith leaders share their stories and ideas of how they are meeting the needs of their congregations.

Release Date October 5, 2021
A practical guide for people who careThere is no time in history and no place in the world where so many people have understood themselves to be suffering from mental health problems. There is also virtually no time and no place in the world where people who are suffering have been so readily ostracized.
In Not Quite Fine, author Carlene Hill Byron tackles the mounting dilemmas that pastors and churches face around mental health. Medicines and therapies have their roles in supporting those who live with mental health problems or mental illness. But God's own body as the church is intended to be our greatest support in this world. How can the church step up for such a time as this? How can the body of Christ become a healing community for its members in pain--a place where the weary find strength for the journey, a place where those who mourn are raised up as rebuilders of the cities left in ruins?

Book: A Pastoral Response to Mental Illness: Resources for the Catholic Community
A free downloadable resource from Judson Press -

This is a bilingual publication (English and Spanish). Leaders of a parish, diocese, or other Catholic organizations can learn the signs of mental illness and reach out to those living with the illness. One in four families will at some time have to cope with mental illness and its effects on a loved one and the family unit. The stigma attached to mental illness forces many to hide the severity of their symptoms or those of a loved one. Many stop coming to church due to the stigma. People can and do recover from mental illness. Recovery can be thought of as a table with four legs. All four legs must be whole, strong, and firmly attached for recovery to take hold. This depends on access to help that includes the four legs of recovery. This booklet identifies the four legs of recovery, where to find the resources for those legs, and when and where to reach out for more help.

Sign Up to Receive the Mental Health Ministries e-Spotlight Newsletter
If you wish to be added to receive our e-Spotlight newsletter, you can sign up on the website. All our Spotlights are archived on the website and most of the resources included can be found under the Resources section of the Mental Health Ministries website. The topics are alphabetized to help you easily access resources.
Meet the New Coordinator of Mental Health Ministries!
Coordinator of Mental Health Ministries
Snippets from Jessica
Hi Everyone,

It is so nice to meet each of you. I wanted to share a little bit about myself. I am excited to be the new Coordinator of Mental Health Ministries. I currently serve as a Consultant for Pathways to Promise. I received my Master’s Degree from the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology and I am a former Associate Chaplain at the Mental Health Chaplaincy.  I am passionate about working with and advocating for all people, especially persons living in marginalizing circumstances. 
Jessica Dexter, MA
Coordinator of Mental Health Ministries