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

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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Empathy for All: Mental Health Sunday by Rev. Mark Poindexter

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Empathy for All: A Word on Empathy by Rev. Jonah Koetke

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Empathy for All: A Sermon on Empathy by Rev. Amie Vanderford

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Empathy for All: A Mental Health Sermon Series

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Webinar: Speaking into the Silence

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Webinar: Deep Cries Out to Deep: An Online Grief and Loss Worship Service

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Webinar: Cuidado Pastoral y Espiritual durante Desastres

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Webinar: Creating Safe Boundaries for Congregations Serving Those with Severe Mental Health Issues

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SoulCare Conversations: A Time to Pause and Process Together

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Sermon Series: For Such A Time As This

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Mental Health Awareness Month

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2020 SoulCare Moments

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Webinar: Spiritual Care in the Midst of Crisis

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Webinar: Salvemos Vidas, Juntos Vamos a Prevenir el Suicidio

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Webinar: Cuidado y Consejería Pastoral

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Workshops and Resources from 2019 General Assembly

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General Assembly 2019 SoulCare: A Moment to Pause and Process

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¿Cómo hacer frente durante momentos de Crisis o Trauma?

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Webinar: Fe, Comunidad y Salud Mental

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Webinar: After Suicide, How Communities of Faith Can Help Reduce Suicide Contagion

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Self Care and Creative Contemplation

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Webinar: Developing a Regional Mental Health Initiative with the Christian Church in Georgia

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NBA Impact Report

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Advent Resources from the Mental Health Initiative, 2018

Advent resources to encourage and sustain those with mental illness during the holiday and winter season.

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Webinar: Pastoral Vulnerability: Navigating the Nuance of Disclosing Clergy Mental Health Challenges

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Webinar: Building a Congregation-Based Mental Health Ministry

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Mental Health & Wellness Stories

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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“Stay Afraid, but Do It Anyway”

I never understood how much I was capable of until I pushed myself out of my comfort zone.

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The Importance of Being Supportive

A few years ago, I was having serious suicidal thoughts. My therapist was out of town, so I talked with my pastor. After we talked for a while, I shared with her that I always find strength and comfort in the belief that God shares in my pain and I am not alone.

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A Time to Protest and a Time to Rest

Read about the psychological risks of activism and ways to respond and maintain healthy mental health.

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Launching the Mental Health Affinity Group

We are excited to announce the formal launch of the Mental Health and Congregational Care Affinity Group!

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Embarking Upon a Mental Health Book Study

As the NBA works to create meaningful ways to acknowledge mental health in the life of the church, our staff participated in a six-week Lenten book study focused on mental health, faith, and inclusion.

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Caring for Ourselves to Care for Others

Those working for human rights, equality, and justice are tired, worn out, and often have very little support.

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Mental Health in the Church: Being a Prophetic Voice

For far too long, the subject of mental health still continues to be taboo in many African-American churches. Mental health has been the forbidden topic in several faith communities. My dream and vision is for the church to truly be a welcoming place for those caught in the throes of mental illness.

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Our Actions and Inactions Always Have Consequences

As immigrant Hispanic families try to navigate these systems and try to survive the clutches of systemic racism, oppression, and dehumanization, they also deal with the by-product of this struggle.

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Autism and Youth: The Bigger Picture

I took a group of youth from Los Angeles to volunteer with the children at the Tennyson Center.

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When Faith Alone Isn’t Enough

Over the past several years, I have increasingly seen social media posts and been privy to private conversations in hushed tones among Christians about the importance of mental health. For many years the prevailing stance within the church has been one of silence. “Jesus will fix it” is the motto.

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Shining the Spotlight: Mental Health Awareness Sunday

Because one in five people will have a mental illness during any given year, many people and their families are affected in our congregations. It is important that church leaders speak up about mental illness and recovery so people know it is okay to talk about it and ask for help when they have problems.

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Mental Health and Congregational Care: NBA Responds to the Call for Welcome and Support

As the health and social service ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the National Benevolent Association (NBA) takes seriously its call to create communities of compassion and care. In doing so, the NBA has been called to engage in dialogue and action centered on the issue of Mental Health and Congregational 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.