Mental Health Ministry

“Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.” Isaiah 40: 1

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Mental Health Initiative for 2019–20

In recognition of the continued relevance of mental health and the need to advance and expand mental health ministries, the 223rd General Assembly (2018) adopted a two-year Mental Health Initiative (Item 10–11) on the 10th anniversary of Comfort My People: A Policy Statement on Serious Mental Illness (2008). The Compassion, Peace & Justice Ministry within the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is responsible for facilitating implementation and reporting back to the next General Assembly (in 2020).  

Components include:

Mental Health Ministry Grant Program–$250,000 spread over 2019 – 2020

This new grant program provides “seed money” for Presbyterian congregations, mid councils and seminaries to initiate or advance mental health ministries that educate, equip and empower churches to reach out to and with, people living with mental health conditions and their loved ones:  

  • To expand mental health awareness, understanding of mental health issues and advocacy for mental health services. 
  • To eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness, especially serious mental illnesses.
  • To become more welcoming, inclusive and supportive faith communities for people living with mental health challenges. 

For more information about the grant program and grant application materials, click here

Churchwide Study 

This study will help develop an overall picture of mental health ministries within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), identifying strengths and needs. Results will be reported back to the next General Assembly and help inform recommendations for further actions and resources.

Here are links to participate in the mental health surveys. Please only take surveys that apply to you. Do not repeat any surveys. Pastor survey questions are part of a larger pastors’ survey being sent directly to them. These links will be active for the month of October. A link to survey results will be posted as soon as they are available.

  • Mid Council Survey — (mid council staff, Stated Clerks only)
  • Church on the Corner Survey — (pastors of congregations, Clerks of Session only)
  • Person in the Pew Survey — (for all PCUSA members)
  • Seminary Survey — (Presbyterian seminary faculty and administrators only)
  • PCUSA Ministers Survey — (For all PCUSA ministers, mental health questions embedded in multi-topic survey)

Production of Second Edition of Comfort My People: A Policy Paper on Serious Mental Illness, with Study Guide (first edition, 2008) 

Feedback and suggestions are being sought at an early stage in the review and update process for the second edition from as wide an audience as possible. To download a copy of the first edition of Comfort My People, click here. All input received by Nov. 1, 2019, will be shared with the second edition production team. 

Churchwide Mental Health Network 

This network will be a hub for connection, support and sharing of resources among individuals, congregations, mid councils and seminaries engaged in mental health ministry. It is envisioned that the network will outlast the two-year Mental Health Initiative and become an ongoing resource to the denomination.  

There are several ways you can get involved now: 

  • Please complete this network sign-up form to be added to the network email list and receive communications about the network as it develops.
  • Browse this website for more information and resources to use and share with others. 
  • Leave a message or share a story about mental health ministry here.
  • Consider applying for a mental health ministry grant