Mental Illness

Mental illness is unique among other illnesses in that the treatment usually is dependent upon some type of human relationship. Persons seeking treatment will need to speak with a therapist, spiritual leader, and doctor about personal matters. Effective treatment for mental illness goes beyond the need for medication; it also includes addressing psychological issues, social networks and matters of faith and spirituality. Therefore, it is important that attention be paid to language and cultural issues that may enhance or hinder treatment. Mental illness is viewed differently in different cultures. Some cultures focus on the biology of illness; other cultures may believe that mental illness is the result of a lack of harmony with nature, separation from God, exposure to an evil spirit, punishment for past sins, etc. Knowledge of those beliefs will greatly improve the likelihood of effectively reaching out to those individuals who are from a different culture. (Welcomed and Valued- NCPD)

Resources for Parishes

Empowering Parish Mental Health Wellness Webinar Series: This three part webinar series explores personal journeys of facing mental health challenges and how our Catholic faith is a source of strength. It also addresses how counseling services can assist individuals and families, and gives resources and strategies for parishes to form mental wellness ministries.

Mental Illness Resources Pew Cards (pdf download): English | Spanish

National Catholic Partnership on Disability: NCPD works collaboratively to ensure meaningful participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of the life of the Church and society. The organization provides a comprehensive collection of faith-based resources and support for persons living with mental illness.

Congregational Accessibility Network: CAN is an independent organization with an international interfaith mission to encourage congregations of all faiths to include persons with disabilities. The organization provides a variety of resources on mental health and illness issues for faith communities.

Resources for Individuals

The Upper Room PTSD Support Group: The Upper Room is a faith-based, peer support group for survivors of trauma. The group meets at St. Patrick’s Parish Center in Rockville the final Wednesday of each month at 7:30 pm.

Contact the Department of Special Needs Ministries for more information.