Mental and Behavioral Health
"Dream with me about an Episcopal Church health mission which understands that health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity" – Bishop Andy Doyle
We recognize that we are always intimately engaged in the mental health of our communities and congregations, whether we are aware of it or not.
Our communities are formed and fashioned in the context of real interactions with each other. Good mental health is integral to those relationships. It's our desire to work to engage the resources of EHF, and those in our congregations and communities, to affirm existing ways and build new systems that can support excellent mental health in communities.
To that end, EHF can serve as a resource in many ways to identify mental health-related educational and support services. Some examples might be promoting anti-stigma campaigns, connecting people to local mental health services, educating the community about what services might be available, teaching mental health First Aid, establishing partnerships with the National Alliance on Mental Illness or Anonymous groups, or supporting Grace Family Mental Health Support Groups.
These are just a few of the many potential opportunities that might be available through EHF's Congregational Engagement services.
There are already many churches of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas that provide mental and behavioral support and services to the community.
Below is a small sample of various mental health and behavioral health activities across the Diocese:
Through the Palmer Drug Abuse Program, Holy Comforter provides free drug and alcohol recovery services to young people ages 12 – 25 and their families. The program includes 12-step support group meetings, crisis intervention, assessment, and counseling. In addition, the parish hosts the Archway Academy - a private high school specifically for teenagers in substance abuse recovery.
Lord of the Streets hosts a full-service, open-access clinic which offers a variety of healthcare services and provides space and support for psychiatric services and psychotherapy. Furthermore, the parish offers a safe haven with supportive spiritual services and spiritual direction for the homeless.
St. Christopher offers a number of services, especially for veterans through their Veterans Fellowship to support military veterans, active duty soldiers, and their family members.
St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church has hosted AA meetings in their community for more than 25 years. They are also very active in the Community of Hope - training individuals to provide care in local hospitals and in other supportive settings
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church hosts local NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) groups and offers special celebrations for their members through the year. They also support ADA House for Women’s alcohol and substance abuse treatment programming and sponsor their graduation ceremony.
St. John the Divine hosts a large number of support groups and community-based services in support of good mental health in the community. Those include: 12-Step Programs, Stephen Ministries, Grace Family Mental Health Support Groups (a facilitated group to help family members and friends understand and support their loved one in managing their mental illness) and many other services are available regularly.
- Support EHF can provide
EHF can help establish programs and resources, and assist individuals and groups learn more about what might serve to build healthier communities. EHF is able to help congregations identify organizations they can partner with that are centered on mental health. We can assist congregations in building the skills needed to develop strong systems of mental health support within parishes and communities. There is not one program or training that is meant to address all the various needs of the many communities of the Diocese. We are interested in assisting congregations or groups of congregations in assessing the needs of their communities and building systems that will effectively address those needs. A few of the programs we can help access and facilitate implementing are listed here:
Living Compass Series (Chicago)
Includes a study and workbook program designed to promote integration of mind, heart, strength and soul. The process can be taught in small groups and can serve as a touchstone program for spiritual people who want to stay healthy in all areas of their lives.
Grace Alliance Series (Waco)
A program of faith-based support groups for individuals with mental illness and their families. Very specific training is offered to assist in good communication between individuals with mental illness and their support community in a spiritual setting. Congregations can support this type of programming in many different ways.
Mental Health First Aid Training
A nationally-recognized program to train individuals in providing immediate interventions to people with mental illness. Often churches can be the front line of interaction with members of the broader community who may be suffering with mental illness. This program assists a wide variety of non-professionals, building skills for positive, safe and supportive mental health interventions.
- Links to Information, Resources
Mental Health - Church of England
A comprehensive mental health resource dedicated to transforming lives and restoring hope.
Episcopal Church USA
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Quick reference on mental health for faith leaders