Mental Health & Wellness

ABOUT OUR MINISTRY

Embodying and Promoting Holistic Wellness

We believe creating communities of compassion and care begins with an integrated vision of wellness that prioritizes a holistic approach centered in justice, equity, theology, spirituality, and clinical awareness.

NBA’s work is centered in resourcing Disciples health and social service entities and reaches out to the whole denomination through general church partnerships, regional collaborations, support for congregations, seminaries, and community-based organizations.

NBA’s Mental Health and Wellness Initiative takes a collaborative approach that is rooted in:

  • A sound and liberating theological understanding of mental health and wellness
  • Effective and practical strategies for spiritual coping practices
  • Accessible and clinically-informed education and resources

Commitments for an Integrated Vision of Wellness

  • Wellness and justice are inseparable
  • Spiritual practice and mental health knowledge inform and build on one another
  • Time and space for respite, play, joy, relief, revelation and reflection are part of a holistic vision of wellness
  • Community and individual wellness are parts of a whole
  • Breaking stigmas and cultivating acceptance of diverse mental states and experiences are essential to the work of the church

Focus Areas

Leadership Wellness & Corporate Health

  • Support services for health & social service organizations
  • Training/Coaching for leadership wellness
  • Peer Learning and Wellness Groups

Mental Health Justice & Wellness Equity

  • Racial & ethnic outreach initiatives
  • LGBTQIA+ outreach initiatives
  • Wellness care for activists & organizers

Crisis Care & Support

  • Clergy crisis care
  • Disaster crisis care
  • Organizational crisis care

Videos & Webinars

Watch and Learn

Learn how your faith community can benefit from awareness and education surrounding mental health. Our mental health and wellness webinars focus on topics such as welcoming those with mental illness, providing pastoral care during a crisis, safely discussing suicide, and more.

Learn and Grow with NBA Resources

SoulCare: A Guided Breathing Exercise

Join Director of Mental Health & Wellness Joselyn Spence as she walks you through a guided breathing meditation.

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Steward Your Self Care: A Self-Care Plan and Coloring Book

There is never a bad time to start (or update) your self-care practice. Start creating yours with the help of this guide!

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Surviving the Holidays

Wes Parks, a Licensed Professional Counselor shares his tips for maintaining boundaries and mental wellness during the holidays.

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Warm Up with This Green Chile Stew Recipe

It’s soup season! Warm up with this green chile stew recipe from Dr. Chad Vickers.

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Visio Divina: A Mindfulness Practice

Zaemelys Ramos-Rodriguez, a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Student, Research Assistant, walks viewers through Visio Divina (Latin for "Divine Seeing”) a method of praying with images and other media.

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Introducing NBA’s Mental Health Equity Cohort’s Holiday Series

Each year, we offer a mental health and wellness holiday resources to encourage you to prioritize holistic wellness during the wintertime and the holidays. This year, our round up of holiday wellness resources is brought to you by NBA’s Mental Health Equity Cohort.

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NBA Impact Report 2022

Read and download the 20-page PDF of the 2022 NBA Impact Report, featuring stories from NBA programs, partners, and Disciples leaders.

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The Corner: A BIPOC Clergy Retreat Model

The Corner: A BIPOC Clergy Retreat Model

In this 24-page booklet, you'll find research on the importance of clergy wellness, an editable retreat design plan, and a sample schedule and activities to plan your own wellness retreat for BIPOC clergy.

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Pride SoulCare

Celebrate Pride Month and beyond by taking a moment to pause and process with the National Benevolent Association and Alliance Q.

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2023 NBA Town Hall

There have been so many exciting resources, initiatives and partnerships at NBA recently, hear all about it!

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SoulCare: Lunch Break

Feeling stressed in the middle of your workday? Take a moment to pause, connect to your body, and focus on your breath.

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Gun Violence and Mental Health

Resources focusing on the intersection of gun violence, trauma, and ways to care for our mental health and the mental health of our communities.

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Back to the Basics: Self-Care and Wellness for Clergy and Leaders

This webinar provides a new year’s refresher on sustainable self-care and wellness practices and strategies for clergy and leaders who are always on the go.

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SoulCare: Warmth and Wellness

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Mental Health & Wellness Access with Well Watered Soul Inc.

Joselyn Spence sat down to talk to the founders of Well Watered Soul to Discuss the power of mental health access.

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Celebrating Our Stories of Cultural Resilience: Sharing Diverse Mental Health Stories

Joselyn Spence, NBA Director of Mental Health & Wellness has curated a group of activists, therapists, and pastors to share their stories.

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Closing Mental Health Awareness Month 2022: Inspiration for the Road Ahead

As we close out Mental Health Awareness Month 2022, NBA Director of Mental Health and Wellness, Joselyn Spence reflects on our month of resources, creative submissions, and scripture.

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Empowering Others Through Their Mental Health Journey

This post has resources and content that center the topic of empowerment.

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Dealing with Depression

This post has resources and content that center depression.

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Seeking Professional Help

Looking for a professional to aid in your mental health journey? This post has resources on where to find a professional that fits your needs.

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Mental Health and the Brain

This post has resources and content that center mental health and the brain.

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Dealing with Trauma, Anxiety, and Shame

For Mental Health Awareness Month we asked Disciples to respond creatively to this question: Where do you see God in your mental health journey? Today we share resources and content that centers anxiety, trauma, and shame.

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God and Community in Mental Health Journeys

This post has resources and content that center God and community in mental health journeys.

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12 Days of Wellness—Mental Health Tips for the Holiday Season from NBA Cares

INTRODUCING: The 12 Days of Wellness! Mental health and wellness tips for the holiday season.

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Grieving Well: Addressing Grief and Depression for Clergy and Leaders

This webinar explores the foundations of grief: what we grieve, how we grieve, and the ways we can grieve well. We will also explore best practices for grief support.

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Webinar: A Conversation on COVID, the Black Community, and Care

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Webinar: Tending to Our Spiritual and Mental Wellbeing After Crisis and Trauma

Join Disciples, mental health professionals, as they speak to the importance of tending to our mental health and wellness, especially as we return to social gatherings beyond family, and even begin to worship in person again. 

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WEBINAR: Resources for Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention

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Empathy For All: Prayers for Mental Health by Rev. Lizzy Diop

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Empathy for All: Seeing with Someone Else’s Eyes by Rev. Derek Penwell

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Mental Health & Wellness Stories

Warm Up with This Green Chile Stew Recipe

It’s soup season! Warm up with this green chile stew recipe from Dr. Chad Vickers.

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Grief During the Holidays

As the busy holiday season presses on, Carolina Fuentes, a member of our Mental Health Equity Cohort shares tips for navigating and making space for grief during the busy holiday season.

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Introducing NBA’s Mental Health Equity Cohort’s Holiday Series

Each year, we offer a mental health and wellness holiday resources to encourage you to prioritize holistic wellness during the wintertime and the holidays. This year, our round up of holiday wellness resources is brought to you by NBA’s Mental Health Equity Cohort.

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Connection & Care: A Recap of NBA’s Mental Health Professionals Conference

NBA’s Mental Health & Wellness program brought together therapists from across the country for our first in person conference exclusively designed for mental health professionals.

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A Space to Belong: Mission & Ministry Grant Supports Community Center for Trans & Gender-Diverse Community

In 2022, Galileo Christian Church established Finn’s Place, a community center where trans and gender-diverse people gather, grow, and flourish.

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Mission & Ministry Grant Supports Those in Addiction Recovery

The wake up call that lead to a ministry that supports those recovering from addition.

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Wellness, Rhythm & Balance: A Retreat for Peer Groups

In the spring, NBA brought together members of our Peer Learning and Wellness Groups for a weekend of fellowship, reflection, and healing.

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Celebrating Our Stories of Cultural Resilience: Sharing Diverse Mental Health Stories

Joselyn Spence, NBA Director of Mental Health & Wellness has curated a group of activists, therapists, and pastors to share their stories.

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NBA’s Mental Health Work Heads to Kentucky

Chaplains in Kentucky gather with the Director of Mental Health and Wellness Joselyn Spence.

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12 Days of Wellness—Mental Health Tips for the Holiday Season from NBA Cares

INTRODUCING: The 12 Days of Wellness! Mental health and wellness tips for the holiday season.

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NBA Adds New Staff Members to Aid in Mental Health, Justice, and Development Work

Over the last few months, we’ve added several new faces to our team. Get to know them!

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Mental Health, Wellness, and My Faith Journey

“Focusing on my wellness allows me to embody commandments like Sabbath and prioritize my joy and my rest,” shares Joselyn Spence, NBA’s Director of Mental Health & Wellness. Read about how her journey to deepen her faith and care for her mental health were intertwined.

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Coping with Trauma in the Wake of the 9/11 Anniversary

This September marks the twentieth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Here are ways to cope with trauma from these past events.

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Celebrating 10 Years of Service: A Q&A with President and CEO Mark Anderson

10 years after Mark D. Anderson began at NBA as President and CEO, he's taken some time to reflect on what this ministry has meant to him.

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Transitions and Celebrations in the NBA Mental Health & Wellness Initiative

After more than five years of service, Rev. Angela Whitenhill-Shields will transition out of her role as NBA’s Mental Health & Wellness Initiative Manager.

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A Journey of Defining the Social Impact My Organization Will Have

Managerrie Winston shares how this year's seminar helped define the social impact her organization will have.

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Becoming a Trauma-Informed Church

Creating a space that challenges systems of oppression and gives room to all God's people.

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Singleness, COVID-19 and Sheltering in Place

Sheltering in place with family and roommates certainly has its challenges, but so does being single and living alone during this time writes Rev. Dr. Christina Hicks.

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Healing in the Time of COVID-19: How to Feel Your Way Through

"Our feelings are not there to be cast out or conquered. They're there to be engaged and expressed with imagination and intelligence." — T.K. Coleman Therapist Becca Moravec teaches us how.

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A Call to See and Respond to the Crisis of Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence

The novel Coronavirus is a threat that is very real, but we cannot see it. I relate this invisibility to Domestic Violence.

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3 Myths of Suicide and How the Church can Address Them

There are several myths about suicide that, at one point in my life, I believed.

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Talking to Children During A Pandemic: Empathy, Connection and Tolerating Uncertainty Teaches Resilience

It can be difficult to know how much to share with children about the novel Coronavirus, Raiza Spratt shares resources that she's been using to explain COVID-19 to her children.

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3 Mitos Acerca del Suicidio y Como la Iglesia Puede Abordarlos

Hay varios mitos acerca del suicidio que, en un momento de mi vida, yo creía.

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A Space to Nurture Dreams to Reality

The SENT Seminar did for me what Healing the WOMBman will do for other women.

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HABLANDOLE A NUESTROS HIJOS ACERCA DE TIROTEOS EN LAS ESCUELAS / Talking to our Children about School Shootings

School safety is once more at the forefront of the nation’s mind. But what do parents’ conversations with their children about this topic look like?

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There’s Always More: Surviving Suicide, Embracing the New

Dr. Mark E. Poindexter reflects on claiming a second chance at life after surviving a suicide attempt. (TW: suicide)

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Keeping Loving Connections Despite Distance

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Tis the Season To be Depressed: How to Shake the Holiday Blues

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Finding Hope and Peace in the Midst of Christmas Blues

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Care for the Journey: Hurricane Harvey Response

Week of Compassion, NBA, and Pension Fund are partnering to offer spiritual wellness care.

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Mental Health and Wellness Initiative History

In response to General Assembly Resolution GA-1523, “Becoming A People of Welcome and Support to People with Mental Illness and/or Mental Health Issues,” the NBA launched the Mental Health and Wellness Initiative. Throughout the fall and winter of 2015-16, a Research and Design Team met regularly to define the purpose and goals of this group. Formally launched in May 2016, the Mental Health and Congregational Care Affinity Group was the first part of the overall strategy developed by the Research and Design Team, who continue to serve as an Advisory Team for the Mental Health and Wellness Initiative. In 2017, the affinity group expanded to a full initiative lead by Angela Whitenhill, who transitioned from convener of the affinity group to manager of the Mental Health and Wellness Initiative to oversee the breadth and depth of the expansion.