Parish Ministry and Outreach

Guidelines for Implementation

St. John wrote, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.” For many Catholics suffering from mental illness the stigma, shame and in some cases shunning they experience creates a barrier to engaging meaningfully in the life of the Church, moving closer to Christ and indeed living life to the full.

Our intention in this volume is to compile and present resources for lay ministers and clergy to thoughtfully and effectively implement mental health ministries in dioceses and parishes. Guided by a scholarly review of relevant literature regarding Mental Health Ministry as well as our own fieldwork observing and learning best practices, we offer this resource as a “playbook” to assist fellow ministers in successfully beginning and developing their ministries.

Mental Health Illness with Grace - 5 Part Series

Mental illnesses, such as depression, bi-polar disorder, anxiety, schizophrenia, PTSD, among others are far more common than many think. The National Institute of Health says 1 in 5 people in any given year deal with a mental illness. For 1 in 17 it is a serious and persistent illness. Tragically, the stigma surrounding them causes isolation and often keeps families from seeking help.

Addressing the needs of people who are living with a mental illness or supporting those who have a loved one with a mental illness is part of the ministry of the Church: to care for one another.

The Mental Health Illness with Grace series will create mental illness awareness in our parishes through a series of presentations on mental health issues. This document includes the 5-session outline, best practices, bulletin announcements, next steps and survey.

Mental Illness and Faith Community Support for Recovery

This pamphlet is intended to be a resource to parishes for ministry to people with a major mental illness and their families.


16 Specific Actions

This document contains 16 specific suggestions for creating an environment where people feel safe to share their experience.