Faith & Spiritual Wellness

Faith & Spiritual Wellness

The Mental Health Center of Denver recognizes that sensitive, active support of spiritual life can enhance well-being and recovery.

Our Approach

Our Faith and Spiritual Wellness program is designed to help the people we serve, clinicians, and the community in the following ways:



To make the people we serve more aware of the role spirituality can play in their recovery.



To assist and train clinicians in developing strategies for incorporating spirituality into treatment plans.



To provide training and promote mental health literacy within the faith community.



To facilitate dialogue between mental health and faith communities.



To provide opportunities for the people we serve, peers, and faith community support.

Free Workshops

Clergy Mental Health Lunch and Learn

We are excited to offer a variety of upcoming workshops for clergy and others interested in promoting mental health in a spiritual context. All workshops are free of charge. 

Check back soon for more classes.

Workshop Sign-Up

Send us your name and information to stay updated about upcoming Faith & Spiritual Wellness Workshops.

Supporting the People We Serve Where They Are

The people we serve enter our treatment programs with many different approaches to faith and spirituality and at many different levels of spiritual awareness and openness.

Our staff is trained to assess the level and importance of spirituality and incorporate it into an outcome-based treatment plan for the people we serve. Over the course of treatment, clinicians support spiritual exploration and help the people we serve define the role it will play in their recovery.

Resources & Publications

Clergy Resources


Rabbi Miriam Senturia
Spiritual Community
Published in the FaithNet newsletter

Relevant Magazine
4 Misconceptions About Mental Illness And Faith

Four Spiritual Care Tasks
Published in the FaithNet newsletter
Rennebohm, Craig. D. Min. Seattle Mental Health Chaplaincy
Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group Executive Committee

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

Sturdevant , Randy. Wrote article at 24 and was diagnosed with Schizophrenia at age 18
Published in the FaithNet newsletter
The Christian Citizen Magazine, Vol. 2, 2014
A Publication of American Baptist Home Mission
“Nones“ on the Rise; One – in –Five Adults Have No Religious Affiliation
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

I have the following books and they are available should you like to borrow.   These are a small representation of what is available on websites listed in this Clergy Resource site.

The following books are more clinical with explanation what clergy can do:

Ministry With Persons With Mental Illness And Their Families
Robert H. Albers, William H. Meller, and Steven D. Thurber, editors

In Ministry with Persons with Mental Illness and Their Families, psychiatrists and pastoral theologians come together in an interdisciplinary, collaborative effort to ensure accuracy of information concerning the medical dimensions of mental illness, interpret these illnesses from a faith perspective, and make suggestions relative to effective ministry. Readers will learn how science and a faith tradition can not only co-exist but work in tandem to alleviate the pain of the afflicted and affected.

The Minister’s Guide to Psychological Disorders and Treatments
W Brad Johnson and William L Johnson

The Minister’s Guide to Psychological Disorders and Treatments, 2nd ed, is a thorough yet succinct guide to everything a minister might need to know about the most common psychological disorders and the most useful mental-health treatments. Written in straightforward and accessible language, this is the minister’s one-stop guide to understanding common mental health problems, helping parishioners who struggle with them, and thinking strategically about whether to refer—and if so, to whom. This thoroughly updated edition is fully aligned with the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) and the latest evidence regarding evidence-based psychological treatments. The second edition also contains a new chapter on ministerial triage as well as additions to the DSM-V such as autism spectrum disorder and somatic symptom disorders. Written with deep empathy for the demands of contemporary pastoring, this guide is destined to become an indispensable reference work for busy clergy in all ministry roles and settings.

What do a parish priest and a psychiatrist have in common? Most people wouldn't think there are many similarities between the two. Yet, both play a vital role in addressing people's mental and emotional problems. In fact, the local rabbi, priest, minister, or other pastoral caregiver is often approached before the psychiatrist or psychologist by persons experiencing severe emotional or psychological distress. From The Soul in Distress, clergy members learn about the wide range of psychiatric problems and the need for bridging the gap that still exists between the tenets of religion and psychological/psychiatric explanations of human behavior.

By becoming informed on important findings in mental health, you can increase your effectiveness in working with congregants who are emotionally distraught. The Soul in Distress can help you accomplish this as it addresses the interplay of people’s emotional and mental states with their sense of religion. As you will soon see, psychology can never be separated from matters of faith because it involves the emotions and the intellect. By reading this insightful book, you will learn to distinguish between those problems that can be addressed informally by you and the congregant through traditional methods such as discussion and prayer and those that require medical attention.

The following books have clinical content with more of a Scriptural treatment focus.

A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness
Matthew S. Stanford, PHD

Each day men and women diagnosed with mental disorders are told they need to pray more and turn from their sin. Mental illness is equated with demonic possession, weak faith and generational sin. Why is it that the church has struggled in ministering to those with mental illnesses? As both a church leader and professor of psychology and neuroscience, Michael S. Stanford has seen far too many mentally ill brothers and sisters damaged by well-meaning believers who respond to them out of fear or misinformation rather than grace. Grace for the Afflicted is written to educate Christians about mental illness from both biblical and scientific perspectives. Stanford presents insights into our physical and spiritual nature and discusses the appropriate role of psychology and psychiatry in the life of the believer. Describing common mental disorders, Stanford asks of each: "What does science say and what does the Bible say about this illness?"

No Longer Alone:
Mental Health And The Church
John Toews with Eleanor Loewen

Christian faith can make an important contribution to mental well-being. But being Christian does not guarantee mental health. Just as we walk with persons who are physical ill, so we must learn to walk with those suffering mental illness. This book is destined to become a significant resource for individual Christians and congregations. In a simple yet careful way,

John Toews with Eleanor Loewen draw on their expertise in mental health to address such topics as the interrelatedness of our social, emotional, physical, and spiritual selves; emotions that hurt or heal; depression; addictions; schizophrenia; and suicide.

The following books give excellent insights into the world of those with a mental illness and how the relational aspects of community can promote dignity and wellbeing.

Resurrecting the Person:
Friendship and the Care of People With Mental Health Problems
John Swinton

In Resurrecting the Person, John Swinton argues that while mental illnesses are often biological and genetic in origin, the real handicap experienced by individuals is imposed by the types of reactions, values, and attitudes which are typical of contemporary western society. In other words, how a mental illness is experienced has much to do with how it is socially constructed. How will the church react to this suggestion? Swinton suggests that the key to the effective pastoral care of individuals with severe mental illness lies not only within the realms of psychiatry, therapy, and pharmacological intervention, but in the rehumanization which is borne within the relationship of friendship.

Craig's book Souls in the Hands of a Tender God, written with David Paul, explores the realm of faith through the extraordinary prism of brain disorders. The stories in this book come from an unusual place: the experience of mental illness — and, in particular, mental illness on the streets. Each story becomes a parable, helping us understand what it means to be human and vulnerable: souls on a pilgrimage toward meaning and wholeness, supported by God's healing Spirit.

The book profiles people living on the street who suffer from the devastating effects of mental illness and follows them on the journey from the margins of society through healing and back into the welcome and support of the community.

The authors describe some basic steps any of us can take to help a relative, friend, or stranger struggling with mental illness and in need of care and support.
The Companionship Series # 1-3
• Mental Health Ministry, An Introduction
• The Way of Companionship, Welcoming the Stranger
• Organizing a Congregational Mental Health Team
Congregational Resource Guide


Mental Health Ministry Resources

This guide includes:
• Printed, Audio-Visual, and Web-Based Media for:
◦ Faith communities (congregations and clergy)
◦ Pastoral caregivers
◦ General public
• List of supportive organizations
• Most highly recommended resources
Bibliography in Pastoral Theology and Care
Larry Kent Graham, Ph.D.
Retired Professor of Pastoral Theology and Care
Iliff School of Theology
Denver, Colorado

Throughout his tenure at Iliff School of Theology, Dr. Graham was an avid researcher. His findings enlightened his teaching, writing, and worldview. He has graciously shared his comprehensive bibliography with the hope that information gleaned will be translated into enriched pastoral caring.
Though much of this bibliography does not specifically relate to mental illness, all sources are included to assist in ministering to the wholeness and wellbeing of each person.
Denominational Mental Illness Study Guides
Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago
Commission on Mental Illness and Faith and Fellowship for People with Mental Illness.
Deacon Tom and Rita Lambert


Mental Illness And Faith Community Outreach: Communities of Compassion and Justice

• Catholic faith community guide adaptable to other faith traditions
• The need for outreach
• Faith communities role
• Specific outreach actions
• Theological framework
• Seven week brief informative bulletin articles
• Important facts about mental illness from NAMI
• Sample workshop outline
• Appropriate language when discussing mental illness
• Resource Contacts
National Catholic Partnership on Disability
Welcomed and Valued: Building Faith Communities of Support and
Hope with People with Mental Illness and Their Families
Expanded version of Mental Illness and Faith Community Outreach
• Understanding the Reality of Mental Illness
• Creating Supportive Faith Communities
• Responding Compassionately to Difficult or Challenging Behaviors
• Pastoral Perspective on Suicide
• Exploring Additional Resources
Christian Reformed Disability Concerns
Faith and Hope Ministries
June Zwier, M.Div.
Winnie Visser, M.Div. RMFT

Let's Talk! Breaking the Silence around Mental Illness in our Communities of Faith
Separate Leader’s Guide and Group Study Guide
Four sessions including:
• Why Is Mental Illness So Hard To Talk About?
• Breaking the Silence
• So Let’s Talk About It
• What Can You Do? What Can We Do?
Promoting mental health: A resource for spiritual and pastoral care
• Creating a welcoming environment
• Activities and workshop plans: awareness, stigma, role of church, understanding for mental health workers, pastoral care, support
• Developing partnerships
• Worship resources: poems, readings, hymns
This network provides a compassionate presence within the Episcopal Church for persons with mental illnesses and their families. The EMIN is a place where we can share information. It also is a resource for Episcopalians, both clergy and lay persons, to find out more about mental illnesses and how to incorporate persons with mental illnesses into the full life of the Church.
A social message on....The Body of Christ and Mental Illness
Adopted by the Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on November 10, 2001
Suicide Prevention
ECLA message on suicide
ECLA suicide prevention ministry
Lutheran Suicide Prevention Ministry
The Mission of the Suicide Prevention Ministry is to reduce the number of people who die by suicide through awareness, education and advocacy actions that reduce the stigma of suicide.
Jewish Healing Center
Rabbi Elliot Kukla
Give Me Your Hand, A Guide To Mental Illness For Jewish Clergy
• The Role of Jewish Clergy In The Spiritual Care Of People Living With Mental Illness
• A Prayer For Healing For Mental Illness
• Jewish Clergy’s To Suicide Assessment and Prevention
• Ten Things Jewish Clergy Can Do To Reach Out To Those Living With A Mental Illness
• High Holy Day Starters
Union for Reform Judiasm
Richard F. Address, editor
Caring for the Soul: R'fuat HaNefesh
A Mental Health Resource and Study Guide

Created as a response to the need to raise awareness of and reduce the stigma of mental illness

It includes a selection of relevant sacred texts, traditional and modern readings for use in services and support groups, sample sermons, services and programs, background information on mental illnesses, related Reform responsa and URJ resolutions.
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Social Justice and Peacemaking Unit, Office of Human Service
The Congregation: A Community of Care and Healing : Mental Illness Awareness Resources

• Mental Illness Definitions
• The Religious Community and Mental Illness
• Pastoral Resources
• Congregational Resources
• Education Models for the Congregation; Adult, Youth and Children
• Sources For Information And Support
• Organizations and Bibliography
• Attached: General Assembly Mission Council (Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Theological and Scriptural Statement on Mental Health
Presbyterian Serious Mental Illness Network

The Presbyterian Serious Mental Illness Network (PSMIN) welcomes those who advocate in the church and greater community with and for those who have been touched by mental illness. We work for equity, justice, human dignity and full acceptance, inclusion and participation in the life of the church. The PSMIN is a ministry
Of the Presbyterian Health, Welfare, and Education Association, PHEWA
Caring Congregation Program – Two Session Workshop
• Workshop One – Mental Disorder and Its Consequences
• Workshop Two – Mental Disorders : Recovery, Religion and Congregational Plans
• Workshops for Children
• Resources: Books, Documents and Health Organizations
Caring Congregation Program – Seven Session Workshop
• General Workshops for Adults and Youth
◦ Workshop 1 Mental Disorders and Their Consequences
◦ Workshop 2 Specific Disorders and How They Are Diagnosed
◦ Workshop 3 The History of Mental Disorders
◦ Workshop 4 Mental Disorders in Specific Populations
◦ Workshop 5 Mental Health Treatment
◦ Workshop 6 Family and Friends of Those with Mental Disorders
◦ Workshop 7 The Role of the Church
• Pastoral Care Workshops
◦ Workshop 1 - Mental Disorder and its Consequences and Treatment
◦ Workshop 2 - Mental Disorders: Families, Religion and Pastoral Care
• Workshops for Children
◦ Workshop 1 Introducing Mental Disorders to Children
◦ Workshop 2 Recognizing Feelings
◦ Workshop 3 Being Compassionate to Someone with a Mental Disorder
◦ Workshop 4 Learning and Practicing Empathy and Communication Skills
• Leaders Workshop
◦ Training Leaders for the Caring Congregation
• Theological Basis for the Caring Congregation
• Glossary, Informative Tables and Resources
Mental Health Information for Ministers – Abbreviated Resource Guide
• General Mental Health Information
◦ Specific Mental Disorders (defined well with suggestions for ministers and resources)
◦ Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Psychotic Disorder, Personality Disorders, Co-occurring Disorders: Addictions
◦ Suicide
◦ Families
◦ Religion/Spirituality and Mental Illness
◦ When the Minister Needs Help
◦ Coping Strategies
◦ Communication Guidelines
United Church of Christ
Mental Illness Network (Affiliation with Disabilities Ministries)
The Mental Illness Network began as a response to the need for families and others to communicate among themselves about the experiences as families, and in congregations. The Mental Illness Network serves within the United Church of Christ for encouragement, education and advocacy for those experiencing a mental illness and their families
United Methodist Church
Ecumenical and Interfaith Outreach of the San Carlos, CA UnitedMethodist Church Mental Health Ministries
Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder
Mental Illness & Families of Faith, How Congregations Can Respond A Resource/Study Guide for Clergy and Communities of Faith
• MHM provides resources to help reduce stigma of mental illness in faith communities and helps create caring congregations
• Excellent resource/study guide that includes topics such as
◦ Causes of Mental Illness
◦ History of beliefs and treatment of Mental Illness
◦ Differences between spirituality and religion
◦ Integrating Spirituality into the treatment process
◦ Spiritual themes surrounding Mental Illness: Love, Suffering, Forgiveness, Redemption, Hope
◦ Creating Caring Congregations: Five Step Program: education, commitment(covenant), welcome, support, advocacy
◦ Help for Faith Leaders: recognizing symptoms, dealing with difficult parishioner, understanding religious experiences
◦ Resources, notes and DVD to accompany booklet
Denominational Statements on Mental Illness

• American Baptist
• Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
• Christian Reformed Church of North America
• Church of God
• Church of Brethren
• Episcopal Church
• Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
• National Council o Catholic Bishops
• Presbyterian Church U.S.A.
• Union for Reformed Judaism
• Unitarian Universalists Association
• United Church of Christ
• United Methodist Church
• United Synagogue of America
Interfaith Mental Illness Study Guides
Local Behavioral Health Resources
Emergency Behavioral Health Crisis
Call: 911 if eminent danger to self or others
Helpful to mention a possible mental health crisis
Call: Colorado Crisis Support Line : 1-844-493-TALK (8255)

Metro Crisis Services is now called Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners. Trained clinicians are available 24/7 to assist in emergency, non-emergency, and general behavioral health situations. In addition to their therapeutic expertise, they have area resource lists to cover almost any situation.
They can dispatch the police, and or a Mobil Crisis Team of trained counselors
Non-Emergency Behavioral Health Issues
Call: Colorado Crisis Support Line : 1-844-493-TALK (8255)
Take individual or encourage to visit the most convenient new Walk In Centers
Faith Sensitive Counseling Agencies
Community Mental Health Centers
Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network (Arapahoe /Douglas Counties except Aurora)
Community Reach Center (Adams County except Aurora)
Jefferson Center for Mental Health (Jefferson, Clear Creek, Gilpin Counties)
Mental Health Center of Denver (Denver City and County)
Mental Health Partners (Boulder and Broomfield Counties)
Welcoming Faith Communities

Capitol Heights Presbyterian Church

Rev. Mark Meeks
Rev. Larry Grimm
1100 Fillmore 
Denver, CO 80206

Christ’s Body Ministries

Pastor John Moorhead
850 Lincoln Street
Denver, Co 80203


Church in the City

Pastors Michael and Brenda Walker
1580 Gaylord St.
Denver, CO 80206

Dahlia Street Church of Christ

Minister Ken Dawdy
1100 Dahlia St
Denver, CO 80220

First Baptist Church

Dr. Brian Henderson
1373 Grant St. 
Denver, CO 80203

First Unitarian Society of Denver

Rev. Mike Morran
1400 Lafayette St
Denver, Co 80218


Metropolitan Community Church of the Rockies

Pastor Jim Burns
980 Clarkson St
Denver, CO 80219


Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church

Lead Pastor of Spiritual Life: Rev. Ian Gregory Cummings
Lead Pastor of Congregational Life: Rev. Dr. Dee Cooper (Interim)

1980 Dahlia St
Denver, CO 80220


Our Savior Lutheran Church

Rev. Paul Carlson

915 E. 9th Ave.
Denver, CO 80218


Praise Center Church

Pastor: Dr. William Rodriguez
Best to contact: Pastor Micah Espinoza

3105 W Florida Ave
Denver, CO 80219


St. Barnabus Episcopal Church

Rev. Paul Garrett, Rector
Rev. Deb Angell, Associate Rector

1280 Vine St
Denver, CO 80220


St. James Urban Church and Network Ministries

Pastor John Hicks
1402 Pearl St
Denver, CO 80203


St. John’s Lutheran Church

Pastor Michael Eckelkamp
700 S Franklin St
Denver, CO 80209


Trinity United Methodist

Pastor Michael Dent
Pastor Miriam Slejko

1820 Broadway
Denver, CO 80202


University Park United Methodist Church

Rev. Paul Kottke
2180 S University Blvd.
Denver, CO 80210

Wellshire Presbyterian Church

Rev. Dr. John Bell
2929 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80222


Contact Us

Whether you are someone we serve, a clinician or clergy, we are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.