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Mental health resources promoting healing congregations

Support Hotlines

If you need one-on-one assistance or are having thoughts of harm to yourself, these resources are always available to you.

NAMI Chicago Helpline: 833-NAMI-CHI

NAMI Greater Milwaukee Helpline:  414-257-7222

(Illinois) Free Emotional Support line:  text “talk” to 552020, and a counselor from a local community mental health center will call you within 24 hours. This is not a crisis line rather a safe place where people can share their anxiety and stress. You can also receive other helpful resources by texting the number with key words like unemployment, food, or shelter.

Hotline numbers

SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

Bright Start Community Outreach Trauma Hotline: Chicago-based toll-free number: 833-TURN123

BSCO uses trained faith and community leaders and mental health professionals as trauma counselors to provide counseling services to those struggling with any difficult experience. Services are free and open to people of all beliefs and will only incorporate faith when requested.

Locator Tools

Locator Tool for Substance Abuse Treatment –

The Department of Health and Human Services launched, a new website designed to help Americans looking for substance abuse treatment locate services near them. Visitors to can access information on treatment options, payment and insurance, and the locations of over 13,000 state-licensed treatment facilities across the United States.

Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator

The Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator is a confidential and anonymous source of information for persons seeking treatment facilities in the United States or U.S. Territories for substance abuse/addiction and/or mental health problems.  Find treatment anonymously and confidentially. 

Mental Health Organizations

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Established in 1987, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is a voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death.

AFSP is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health by engaging in the following core strategies:

Funding scientific research
Educating the public about mental health and suicide prevention
Advocating for public policies in mental health and suicide prevention
Supporting survivors of suicide loss and those affected by suicide in our mission. Learn more.

Archdiocese of Chicago Commission on Mental Illness

The Commission on Mental Illness educates and resources parishes on the spiritual and supportive needs of persons with serious mental illnesses and their families. They provide educational workshops, distribute bulletin inserts and pamphlets to congregations, and provide referrals and networking for people with mental illness.

They also support a great program called Faith and Fellowship, a faith-sharing program that enables parishes to effectively provide spiritual and social support for adults with mental illness. Faith and Fellowship groups consist of 10 to 15 adults including approximately equal numbers of persons with a mental illness and volunteers from local churches. They meet semi-weekly as partners in prayer and socialization. The meetings feature:

A time for prayer
A time for quietly shared activities
A time for a reflection on the meeting theme (Symbol, Life experience, Scripture, Music)
A time for Agape
For more information contact Connie Rakitan at 708-383-9276. The Commission and Faith and Fellowship are part of a larger group of Catholic ministries called Mental Illness Ministries. Learn more.

Elyssa's Mission

Elyssa’s Mission® provides hands-on support to area public and private schools in order to educate students, staff, parents and guardians on how to recognize and assist those teens most at-risk. We have helped educate over 400,000 students since inception. Learn more.

Grace Alliance

Grace Alliance offers mental health resources, programs, and training for faith communities, including:

“Grace Groups,” small groups for families, peers and students living with mental health challenges,
“Thrive,” an in-depth step-by-step process for mental health recovery and wellness. Thrive offers a whole-health approach to building personal resilience, reducing stress and renewing life, and
free resources, including mental health guide e-books (for families and peers), live webinars, blogs, and more. Learn more.

Interfaith Mental Health Coalition

IMHC is a regional interfaith coalition serving the metropolitan Chicago area that is helping congregations to support their members who are dealing with mental illness and substance abuse. The coalition includes representatives from area mental health service organizations, health care providers, national faith-based mental health programs, grassroots organizations and people in mental health recovery. The IMHC meets regularly and holds events all around the region. Visit their website or contact Robert Skrocki, Communications Liaison, at 630-802-0769 for more information.

Jewish Addiction Services

Jewish Child and Family Services supports individuals and families who are struggling with or who are in recovery from addiction to create compassionate responses to addiction’s many challenges. Services include 12-step meetings in synagogues/Jewish locations; safe, sober and spiritual celebrations, and a Jewish Contemplative Practices Workshop that teaches skills that enable individuals to deepen their experience of their Higher Power and manage stressors with Jewish approaches. Learn more.

Khalil Center

Khalil Center is a psychological and spiritual wellness center pioneering the application of traditional Islamic spiritual healing methods to modern clinical psychology. Located in Lombard, IL, Khalil Center meets the needs of Chicago area Muslims, many of whom say Islamically integrated services by a provider who shares religious values is extremely important, according to Khalil Center research.

Khalil Center offers an array of services:

counseling and therapy services, psychiatric services, psychological and cognitive assessments, pre-marital coaching, a crisis helpline and more.
educational opportunities: online courses, seminars and workshops, support groups, and research.
training opportunities: internships, externships, Muslim Mental Health Training, teacher training series, Traditional Islamically Integrated Psychotherapy and workshops.
To learn more about Khalil Center demographics, clinical data, progress and more, click here.

Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS)

Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS) is a non-denominational program that supports individuals who are grieving the loss of a loved one by suicide. LOSS offers a safe, non-judgmental environment where survivors of suicide can openly talk about feelings and experiences. We help survivors to find community, direction and resources for healing. LOSS provides:
• a warm, nurturing network of other survivors.
• education about the grieving process.
• support to help survivors regain hope and strength.
Learn more.

Mental Health Ministries

Mental Health Ministries is a national organization that is a wealth of information and resources designed to help faith communities journey with people who face mental illness. MHM has produced numerous materials on suicide prevention. Find a list of resources here.. Two of their most recent resources to help educate congregations about suicide:

Video: Suicide: Suicide: Healing After the Death of a Loved One
Brochure: Suicide: How Faith Communities Can Provide Hope and Promote Healing
For more information, contact Susan Gregg-Schroeder at Mental Health Ministries at or visit their website at

They also have resources for congregations on mental illness–brochures, worship resources, bulletin inserts, study guides and tool kits, and videos. See their Study Guides in English and Spanish below, but  go to their website for many more resources.
Mental Illness Study Guide
La Enfermedad Mental y las Familias de Fe.

Mindwise Innovations Suicide Prevention Programs

Through a video and guided discussion, students learn to identify warning signs of suicide and depression in a single class period. At the end of the session, students complete a seven-question screening for depression (anonymous or signed – the school can decide) to further encourage help-seeking and connect students at risk with trusted adults. The curriculum raises awareness about behavioral health and encourages students to ACT (Acknowledge, Care, Tell) when worried about themselves or their peers. Learn more.


National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website has:

Clear, easy to understand information on mental illness
Peer support and education
Family support
Advocacy agendas
Resources for fighting stigma
You can also find local groups and chapters for your area.

Pathways to Promise

Pathways to Promise is an interfaith technical assistance and resource center which offers liturgical and educational materials, program models, and networking information to promote a caring ministry with people with mental illness and their families. They have tool kits like the one below, PowerPoint templates, brochures, posters. It’s a great site for congregations on mental illness. Mental Health Ministry Toolkit.

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)

Reduce Shame and Stigma
One of the most important strategies for reducing shame and stigma around mental health is just talking about it. SAMHSA offers a suite of tools and resources for setting up community conversations about mental health.

Community Conversations About Mental Health: Discussion Guide   A guide for holding a successful and productive conversation.

Information Brief.. Background information about mental health issues, treatment and support.

Planning Guide.. Ideas for ways to facilitate discussions and ideas for taking next steps.

Preventing Suicide
Suicide Prevention Competencies for Faith Leaders: Supporting Life Before, During, and After a Suicidal Crisis. Supported by SAMHSA, this new resource aims to help equip leaders of all faiths with the capabilities needed to prevent suicide and provide care and comfort for those affected by suicide. Learn more.

A joint project of Advocate Health Care & the OCEAN-HP at the University of Illinois at Chicago.