Mental Health Committee

The Mental Health Committee provides education, training, spiritual support, and resources for congregations and the larger community, as we are called to compassionately journey together through mental health challenges. The committee seeks to promote all efforts that foster greater mental and emotional well-being for us all. We’d love to hear from you how we can support your congregation in building a mental health ministry!

PC(USA) Mental Health Ministry Grants for Congregations:

Click the button below to learn about grants and resources the denomination provides.

Mental Health Committee 

Jefferson Caldeira, Moderator

Educational Workshops and Training Opportunities

The Mental Health Committee has several education and training opportunities for all members and congregations of the presbytery. These training workshops are sponsored by the Mental Health Committee of the Presbytery of Chicago, in collaboration with The Illinois Interfaith Mental Health Coalition, Advocate Aurora Health, Pathways to Promise, ACE Interface, and several other partners.

  • Annual Teaching Elder and Commissioned Pastor Retreats

These retreats are sponsored in collaboration with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) and are held in October of each year.

  • Companionship Workshop is offered in partnership with Pathways to Promise. It consists of 3 virtual sessions (1.5 hours each) or one in-person session (5-hour workshop).

Rooted in our natural capacities as human beings to act on our concern for another person, Companionship is a relational response to isolation and distress, supportive of healing and recovery. Companionship training equips individuals and communities to provide this relational response to those in need.

Participants of the Companionship Workshop will gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence to move out of transactional engagement and into genuine relationships with people in need through the embodiment of the Five Practices of Companionship.

  • Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): Building Self-Healing Communities is offered in partnership with ACE Interface.

This in-person, 2-hour introductory workshop is based on the key findings of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (or ACE Study), conducted with over 17,000 participants in the early 1990s by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente, a managed care consortium. ACEs include abuse, neglect, and growing up around substance abuse, domestic violence, mental illness, or criminal activity. The ACE Study confirms, with scientific evidence, that these adverse experiences early in life affect brain development and increase the likelihood of physical, mental, social, and behavioral problems later in life. But, we can make a difference. Relationships with caring and competent people provide security and belonging and are vital contributors to resilience and recovery. An in-person, 8-hour training is also available.

  • Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)

Mental Health First Aid is a skills-based training course that teaches participants to identify, understand and respond to mental health and substance use challenges. Adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses teach adult learners how to assist fellow adults, while Youth MHFA courses teach adult learners how to assist adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18. These courses are available completely in person through an instructor-led training, partially in person (called Blended In Person) or completely virtually (called Blended Virtual).