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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Department of Health and Human Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

Last Updated: 6/22/2012

SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,
Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with
Mental Health (ADS Center)


Mental Health Ministries
San Diego, California

Start Date

Brief Description
Mental Health Ministries (MHM) is an ecumenical program through the California Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church. A faith-based educational outreach program, they depend on their Web site for the marketing of their resources. The mission of MHM is to provide high quality media and print resources as a means of educating clergy and laypersons for the purpose of decreasing the stigma associated with mental illnesses in faith communities.

Too often, mental illness is thought of as a moral or spiritual failure rather than a treatable illness. Many persons with a mental health issue will first go to their clergy or faith leader. But studies show that many clergy are not effective in providing the support and referrals that individuals and families need. Many faith leaders have not been trained on how to help people with mental illnesses or how to help communities support instead of stigmatize these individuals.

MHM provides practical resources that present mental health issues to faith communities. Through quality VHS and DVD productions, they put a face to the issue of mental illness and offer a message of hope. Each media resource has a discussion guide to help people use these resources in a way that is appropriate for their community and the cultures within it. MHM media resources include:

  • Creating Caring Congregations
  • Overcoming Stigma, Finding Hope
  • Gifts of the Shadow
  • Mental Illness and Families of Faith

MHM uses a five-step program with specific models to enable faith communities to begin or expand an outreach program to persons with a mental illness and their families.

The success and growth of MHM demonstrate the great need to include a person's spirituality in the treatment and recovery process. Two MHM resources, Creating Caring Congregations and Mental Illness and Families of Faith, received a Telly Award for Excellence in the Religious Program category. Through the success of MHM, the need for continuous education and anti-stigma activities within the faith communities and the general public has been brought to light.

For further information about MHM, please contact, Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder, Coordinator of Mental Health Ministries, 6707 Monte Verde Drive, San Diego, CA 92119, e-mail:

To review or purchase MHM resources, you may visit the MHM Web site,


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This Web site was developed under contract with the Office of Consumer Affairs in SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. The views, opinions, and content provided on this Web site do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or HHS. The resources listed in this Web site are not all-inclusive and inclusion on this Web site does not constitute an endorsement by SAMHSA or HHS.