John M. Crowe, M.Div., D.Min.  

            Member of NC NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) 

            Member of the Pitt County Mental Health Association 

       Recipient of the 2002 President's Award from the Mental Health  Association of NC.

Disclaimer-- This list is provided by churchhealthdevelopment and is intended for use by clergy, churches, and families of those with a mental illness. Churchhealthdevelopment is not a membership organization, makes no representations, recommendations, or endorsements, and none should be inferred, regarding any online organization or book. We hereby expressly disclaim any liability arising from any reader's involvement with or patronage of any online organization or book listed on this page.

Mental Health Ministry


A Healthy Church in Action offering intentional hospitality to individuals with mental illness and their families.

Reflect upon this

"Our reaction to those who have dropped exhausted on the road of life is the ultimate test of our personal understanding of God's grace." Malcolm Smith.

A. The Basics

1. Appropriate Language in Discussing Mental Illness.

2. Mental Health Resources for Churches

3. Mental Health Resources for Families, Spouses, Parents,  and Siblings concerning Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and Schizophrenia

4. Depression & Anxiety Disorder Resources for Families, Spouses, and Siblings

5. Resources for Children of All Ages of Parents with a Mental Illness

6. Being A Parent With A Mental Illness

7. Coping with a loved one's depression

8. NAMI FaithNet

This is a network composed of members and friends of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). It was established for the purposes of (1) facilitating the development within the Faith Community of a non-threatening supportive environment for those with serious mental illness and their  families, (2) pointing out the value of one’s spirituality in the recovery process from mental illness and the need for spiritual strength for those who are caretakers, (3) educating clergy and congregations concerning the biologic  basis and characteristics of mental illness, and (4) encouraging advocacy of the Faith Community to bring about hope and help for all who are affected by mental illness.

9. Helpful links for focusing worship on Mental Illness in May,  October, and December

10. Theology for Mental Health Ministry

11. The Church Offers Meaning

12. Demon or Disorder: A Survey of Attitudes Toward Mental Illness in the Christian Church by Baylor University.

This is the first empirical study of how a person's relationship with the church is impacted when a family member is diagnosed with a mental illness.  

13. Differentiating schizophrenia from demon influence

14. The Church's Ministry to Families of the Mentally Ill  by John M. Crowe

15. Church Pastors Dismiss Mental Illness.

16. Church Congregations Can Be Blind to Mental Illness, Study Suggests.

17. Interdenominational and Interfaith Mental Health Ministries and Resources

18. John Wesley and Psychology This link is to a PDF file of this article.

As a significant figure in Christian history, John Wesley has import for modern Christian psychology in at least four ways: (1) his contention that the findings of science could be used by Christians for the glory of God and the alleviation of human suffering; (2) his personal example of how difficult it is to put faith into practice in daily living; (3) his teachings about the grace of God and the possibility of Christian perfection; and (4) his concern for social justice and the welfare of the poor. This essay discusses these issues and demonstrates how a study of Wesley can influence modern Christian psychology.

19. Luther and Depression by Tony Headley

This article is about someone who has been there, done that, and has the t-shirt. The Protestant Reformation Leader and writer of “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”, Martin Luther felt free to share his own struggles with mental illness, i.e. depression. Research of Luther's sermons, teaching material for young pastors displays a very compassionate person of pastoral care with insightful and detailed observations, and a proclamation of real grace for real life. Both his compassion for Christians with mental illnesses and his keen observation of them were way ahead of his time.

20.  Spirituality

21. Wesley and Depression by Tony Headley

This article is about a person whom the denominational family tree of Methodists and holiness churches view as the herald of sanctification--holiness of heart and life. For century after century the idea prevailed among Christians that filthiness was akin to holiness. This only helped the spread of diseases like the "Black Plague."  On one occasion Mr. Wesley said "Cleanliness is next to godliness."  His concern for personal hygiene rose out of his understanding of sanctification, his view of pastoral care, and his concern for people's mental and physical health.

Wesley was as concerned for the health of people’s bodies and minds as he was for their souls. He read medicine with the same avidity he showed for theology. He also found health education lacking and supplied it. Early in his ministry Wesley established a visitation program for the sick and dispensed medicine to the poor in London and Bristol. Also, he advocated for better health care.

22. Various Books on Boundaries ​

B. Becoming a caring community of faith offering radical hospitality to individuals with mental illness and their families.

1. 1 in 4 Households in Your Church is Afraid to Tell You This Secret. by Carlene Hill Byron - first published by Vision New England's Ministries with the Disabled, Acton, Massachusetts

2. Church’s Ministry to returning veterans and their families

3. Helpful links for focusing worship on Mental Illness in May, July, October, and December

4. How to Rate Your Faith Community

(Adapted from criteria established by the Presbyterian Serious Mental Illness Network)

5. A Church's ministry to a mental health consumer and family by John M. Crowe

6. Suggestions for a clergy mental health packet

7. "The Overlooked and the Forgotten by John M. Crowe

In The Message Bible, Matthew 25:40 & 45 Peterson paraphrases “the least of these"— to the “overlooked and ignored” Who are the overlooked of our day? Who are the ignored of our day? Those with a mental illness and their families.

8. The stigma churches sometimes have to bear, overcome, and why by John M. Crowe

9. Interactive Comprehensive Annotated Bibliography for Congregations.

​10.  Saddleback Church has created a Church-Initiated Mental Health Strategy that can be built over time, adapted, and implemented into all areas of ministries in any church.

11. Faith and Spirituality

Start small and gradually expand. It is helpful to look at building a mental health ministry through the stages of crawl, walk, and run. Crawl steps do not require money, training, resources or paid staff. They are beginning steps for easing into creating a mental health ministry. All church communities can implement crawl steps.

C. What individual members can do to advocate within their own faith based communities.

1. Church Based Advocacy by John M. Crowe

    In 2002, a mental health consumer’s husband becomes an advocate in his church after graduating from a Family-to-Family Course.

2. Fighting the Stigma of Mental Illness by John M. Crowe

D. Mental Health and Clergy

1. A collaboration for clergy health and wellness. The physical and mental health of Clergy in North America has reached a crisis point.

2. Mental Health Needs of Clergy by John M. Crowe

3. “The Face of Depressionby Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder

4. Suggestions for a Clergy Mental Health Packet

5. Guidelines for Clergy.

6. Interactive Comprehensive Annotated Bibliography for Congregations.

Read more about this in chapter 6 of my book,    

Church Health For The Twenty-First Century A Biblical Approach.