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Mental Health

Mental health is an issue that affects all our our communities and increasingly, resources to support people affected by mental illness and substance abuse are disappearing.  Faith leaders and faith communities are often places where people turn for support, but often we don’t know how to respond or be helpful.  We’ve listed a number of resources that we are aware of to help support that capacity of faith communities to be present for and responsive to the needs of people who are in recovery from mental illness and their families. There is hope!

Mental Health Services Available Through Advocate Aurora Health
Support Groups
Where to call and what to do if you need help now!
Locator Tools
Mental Health Resources
Mental Health Organizations

Mental Health Services Available Through Advocate Aurora Health

Faith and Mental Health Specialist and Liaison Services

Mental Health First Aid Workshops

Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. This eight-hour training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to appropriate care. The eight-hour training can be done in one day or two four-hour sessions.

Youth Mental Health first Aid Workshops

Youth Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. This eight-hour training gives adults who work with youth the skills they need to reach out and provide initial support to adolescents (ages 12-18) who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to the appropriate care.

Mental Health Awareness Training

A 2.5 hour training.  Mental Health Awareness Training helps participants identify signs and symptoms of mental illness, reduce stigma, understand recovery and treatment, and how to help during a mental health crisis. A certificate of completion is provided to all participants. Learning objectives include:

  • What is mental health?
  • How does stigma affect people?
  • Who do you call in a mental health emergency?
  • Where can you go for treatment?

Companionship Training Workshops

A three-hour course that provides an effective approach to the practice of mental health ministry through which any caring human being can reach out and help another who is distress.

Risking Connection in Faith Communities Workshops

A two-day workshop developed by the Sidran Institute to equip faith leaders (clergy and lay) to build trauma-responsive congregations. This is an interfaith approach that draws from multiple religious traditions. See more details.

Companionship Training Workshops

A three-hour course that provides an effective approach to the practice of mental health ministry through which any caring human being can reach out and help another who is distress.

Bridges of Hope (NAMI)

Bridges of Hope is a 90 minute-training to congregations of all faiths, focused on recognizing and responding to the mental health needs of congregations.

The training includes:

  • The red flags or warning signs that someone needs help,
  • What to do when someone exhibits the warning signs of a mental illness,
  • What congregations can do,
  • The role of NAMI Chicago in connecting you to resources for individuals and families.

Talk Saves Lives a 1.5 hour presentation/facilitated conversation

Talk Saves Lives:  An Introduction to Suicide Prevention. A community-based presentation that covers the general scope of suicide, the research on prevention, and what people can do to fight suicide.  Attendees will learn the risk and warning signs of suicide, and how together, we can help prevent it.

For more information about these workshops and services, contact Amy McNicholas at 630-929-9103 or amy.mcnicholas@advocatehealth.com.

Advocate Health Care Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Services

Advocate Health Care offers comprehensive psychological services to help people of all ages cope with life’s challenges. Behavioral health experts provide assessment, testing, medication management, inpatient adult care, and outpatient counseling for children, teens and adults, with an emphasis on making healthy changes.

What you can expect:

  • Experienced specialists: Top psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and addiction counselors working closely together
  • Outpatient counseling: Convenient access to care for children, adolescents and adults
  • Inpatient adult treatment: Promotes mental health stability within a safe environment
  • Short-term intensive day treatment: Treats adult addiction and acute psychiatric symptoms in adults and teens

To find a behavioral health provider or schedule an appointment, call 1-800-3-ADVOCATE or find a specialist online.

Support Groups

Hope for the Journey
Second Tuesday of each month, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, 1775 Dempster Street, Park Ridge, IL, 10th Floor, Sasser Room
This is a monthly faith-based support group for people affected by issues related to mental health/mental illness. It is provided by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Cook County North Suburban (NAMI-CCNS).  Come join others to share stories of courage and challenge, patience and perseverance.  Questions? Call NAMI CCNS at 847-716-2252.

STABLE-ity Horses Heal

This non-traditional therapeutic experience allows individuals facing anxiety, depression, PTSD, grief and loss to discover the benefits of connecting with horses. Winter and spring sessions take place at Equestrian Connection, Lake Forest, IL.  For more information about this NAMI program, call 847-615-8696 or Kristin@equestrianconnection.org.

Where to call and what to do if you need help now!

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 – FindTreatment.gov

The Department of Health and Human Services launched FindTreatment.gov, a new website designed to help Americans looking for substance abuse treatment locate services near them. Visitors to FindTreatment.Gov 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 Resources

Psychological First Aid Webinar for Faith Community Leaders

“Thriving in Challenging Times:  Crisis Response Training for Faith Community Leaders” webinar is led by Rev. Kevin Massey, System Vice President, Mission and Spiritual Care and Spiritual Care Leadership, Advocate Aurora Health Care.

WRAP Facilitator Training

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan®, or WRAP®, is an evidence-based system that is used worldwide by people who are dealing with mental health and other kinds of health challenges, and by people who want to attain the highest possible level of wellness.  WRAP® Facilitator Training is for individuals ages 18 and older who will be facilitating WRAP® Classes. WRAP® Facilitator Training is offered twice a year in Illinois, and includes:

  • A single one-hour pre-training conference call for participants and their supervisors
  • Six, full-day (six-hour), on-site training sessions (once a week for six weeks)

One full-day (six-hour) Refresher. Learn more about facilitator trainer training.

Training Videos

Mental Health and Chaplaincy’s Faith Community and Clergy Training videos are designed to help faith communities and clergy care for and support veterans and persons with emotional and mental health struggles. See links to the videos here.

Mental Health Recovery Booklet

A pamphlet from AdvocateAurora Faith and Health Partnerships program with quick tips about how faith communities can provide support for people in their recovery journey from mental illness. Includes a list of resources designed for faith communities.

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. This eight-hour training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to appropriate care. The eight-hour training can be done in one day or two four-hour sessions

Wheaton College Offers Trauma Certificate

The School of Psychology, Counseling, and Family Therapy has partnered with the Humanitarian Disaster Institute’s M.A. in Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership to offer the new Trauma Certificate at the Wheaton College Graduate School. Led by Dr. Tammy Schultz and Dr. Jamie Aten, the Blanchard Chair of Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership, this nine-credit course will prepare mental health professionals to better care for those affected by traumatic events. See certificate details.

The Opioid Epidemic Practical Toolkit

“Helping Faith-based and Community Leaders Bring Hope and Healing to Our Communities.” Published by the Partnership Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives at the Department for Health and Human Services.

A Resource for Faith Leaders on Suicide Prevention and Support

This resource, informed by faith community leaders and suicide prevention experts, aims to help equip faith leaders with the capabilities needed to prevent suicide and provide care and comfort for those afflicted by suicide.

Mental Health Organizations

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.

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. Contact Robert Skrocki, Communications Liaison, at  contact@interfaithmhc.org  630-802-0769 for more information.

Pathways to Promise: Interfaith Ministries and Mental Illness

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

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.

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:

For more information, contact Susan Gregg-Schroeder at Mental Health Ministries at sgschroed@cox.net or visit their website at www.mentalhealthministries.net.

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

NAMI

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.

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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