March 28, 2014

Calling The Church To Action

Studies show that one out of every four adults in America will be affected by mental illness at some point in their lives. The first place many go for help is to their priest or to their pastor because the heart of Jesus and the Church has always been for those who suffer.

You are invited to The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church, a one-day event designed to encourage individuals living with mental illness, educate family members, and equip church leaders to provide effective and compassionate care to any faced with the challenges of mental illness.

Join Pastor Rick and Kay Warren of Saddleback Church, Bishop Kevin Vann of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, and NAMI-OC (National Alliance on Mental Illness-Orange County), and other faith and community leaders on Friday, March 28 for a hope-filled and inspiring event, as together we call the Church to action on behalf of those living with mental illness, equip lay and pastoral leadership, and stand side-by-side with those who suffer.


Friday, March 28
8:30 AM to 9 PM

Saddleback Church
1 Saddleback Parkway
Lake Forest, CA 92630



*Spanish interpretation will be available.

Workshop Details

The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church will offer 20 interactive workshops to encourage individuals living with mental illness, educate family members, and equip church leaders to care for those who are suffering. Workshop topics will include Depression, Stigma, Suicide-Risk Reduction, Church Counseling, Support Groups and Recovery Ministries, Bipolar Disorder, Eating Disorders, Addictions, and other topics to bring hope to the challenges of mental illness.

Christianity and Depression

Aaron Kheriaty, MD

Associate Professor of Psychiatry, UC Irvine

This workshop will look at depression from medical/psychiatric and spiritual perspectives. We will examine the effect depression has on an individual's spiritual life, how Christian spiritual practices can be a part of the recovery process, and how to distinguish depression from related moral or spiritual states.

Stigma or Stigmata: Helping the Church Rethink Mental Illness

Eric L. Johnson, Ph.D.

Lawrence and Charlotte Hoover Professor of Pastoral Care

There are many reasons why mental illness is commonly viewed in a negative light. However, a number of teachings in the Bible present a very different way to view mental illness in churches that can help build a spirit of openness, community, and trust.

The Lay Person's Faith-Based Response to People in Crisis

Dr. Louise S. Dunn

Director of New Hope Crisis Center

How to use active listening skills to assist people in crisis when they call or walk in wanting help from lay people. A written resource will be provided.

Re-Think Mental Illness: The Role of the Church in Recovery

Matthew S. Stanford, Ph.D.

Executive Director The Grace Alliance

This workshop will present a balanced clinical and biblical perspective on mental illness. The foundational role of the church in the recovery process will be discussed along with practical steps for churches to effectively minister to those living with mental illness and their families.

The Most Important Lesson Learned from 87,000 Brain Scans

Daniel G. Amen, MD

Founder, Amen Clinics

This workshop will explore the biological nature of mental health issues and the complexity learned through obtaining the world's largest database of functional brain imaging studies on psychiatric patients.

Therapeutic Partnerships

Steve Pitman

President, Board of Directors NAMI Orange County

This workshop will address individuals with mental health challenges, family members, and mental health providers. It will provide an understanding for the lived experience of mental health from both an individual and shared perspective and will give clarity to differing understandings. The discussion will include the essential elements for building partnerships to support recovery.

Helping Helpers Manage Crisis in the Church: Building a Bridge with Professionals

Chuck Hannaford, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist; President, Health Life

This workshop will provide information that will assist "helpers" in the Church manage crisis situations more effectively. Participants will have the opportunity to become familiar with how to work as a team member. This workshop will be interactive-discussion and questions are encouraged.

Living Well in Spite of a Mental Health Diagnosis

Pastor Brad Hoefs

Founder and Executive Director of Fresh Hope

This workshop will offer encouragement, building hope and exploring mental health recovery from a wellness perspective. This will be peer focused, for those who have a mental health challenge. However, all are welcome to join us. Come and fill up your hope tank with fresh hope!

Troubled Families: Support for Loved Ones Affected by Mental Illness

Amy Simpson

Author, Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church's Mission

Behind every person with mental illness is a family changed-perhaps even devastated-by that illness. The effects of mental illness go way beyond the individual. Amy Simpson, author of Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church's Mission, knows firsthand what it's like to love someone with serious mental illness. She shares her own story, discusses how mental illness affects families, gives practical ideas for how churches can help, and offers tips for how families can advocate for the help they need.

El Papel de la Iglesia sobre la Salud Mental "-The Role of the Church in Mental Health"

La Dra. Herminia Shea-Martínez

La historia acerca del sufrimiento de las personas con enfermedades mentales será discutida. Hoy, esto nos ayuda a crecer con sabiduría y compasión en como extender nuestras manos a aquellos que sufren. También, el papel fundamental de la iglesia será analizado con intervenciones practicas para aquellos que sufren con la enfermedad mental y sus familias, al mismo tiempo reduciendo el estigma y manteniendo la dignidad de ellos.

Living with Bipolar Illness

Thomas H. Okamoto, M.D.


This workshop will cover medical information, types, symptoms, and treatments of childhood through adult Bipolar Affective Disorders. Discussion will include the impact the illness has on society, families, the church, and everyday life for those with the disorder. Available treatments and resources will be explored, including the benefits of using a multidisciplinary medical approach to care.

Food and The Body: 3 Steps to Healing Eating Disorders through Community

Constance Rhodes

Founder and CEO of FINDINGbalance

This workshop will explore the core factors of eating disorders. We will examine eating disorder patterns and help you identify how your beliefs about food and weight impact others. The foundational role of a Christ-centered community in the healing process will be discussed along with ways you can become empowered and equipped to give hope and support to others in their healing journey.

Welcomed and Valued: Building Faith Communities of Hope and Support

Tom Lambert

Deacon, Archdiocese of Chicago

This workshop will provide a discussion of available resources and programs for a pastoral response to people living with mental illness and their families.

Understanding Women's Mental Health: Is There Really a Difference?

Shari Muir, MD

Nationally Board Certified Psychiatrist

This workshop will help you gain a greater understanding of mental health as it uniquely pertains to women. We will explore how mental illness affects women and men differently and will review key disorders women are facing today, including postpartum depression, breastfeeding and psychiatric medications, perimenopausal depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, PTSD, suicide, and substance abuse. This will be an interactive workshop that includes a question and answer session.

Understanding and Helping Loved Ones with BPD

Robin L. Kissell, MD

Director, Borderline Personality Disorder Initiative Semel Institute, UCLA

This workshop will provide a broad understanding of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). We will cover the symptoms, behaviors, and effects of this routinely misunderstood and misdiagnosed illness. A discussion of best-practice steps for treatment, tools, and resources for support will provide hope and help to those living with BPD and their families.

Celebrate Recovery and Dual Diagnosis

John Baker

Founder and Pastor of Celebrate Recovery

Hear from Celebrate Recovery founder Pastor John Baker on how Celebrate Recovery can help those with dual diagnosis. During this workshop you will hear two testimonies of those who have found victory through Celebrate Recovery. Information will also be provided on how to start a Celebrate Recovery ministry at a local church. Celebrate Recovery is currently in its 23rd year of ministry, in 22,000 churches, over 1.5 million individuals have completed a one year step study, and it is published in 25 languages.

How to Launch a Support Group and Counseling Ministry in your Church

Tommy Hilliker

Pastor of Membership Saddleback Church

Over 2,000 people a month come to one of the 120 different support groups Saddleback Church offers and over 5,000 counseling hours are provided every month by volunteer trained counselors. This workshop will provide you with the basic foundational tools to develop a volunteer run counseling and support group ministry.

Suicide Prevention: Saving Lives One Community at a Time

Jessica Van der Stad

AFSP Area Director

This workshop will provide an overview of the prevalence and risk factors for depression and suicide, dispel popular myths, and highlight vital suicide prevention research and education programs. This workshop will include practical advice for those who know someone who may be contemplating suicide.

The Role of Church, Family, and Community in Advocacy for Those with Mental Illness

Cecilia Mercado


Gain a deeper understanding of mental health and the importance of working to provide access to all services, benefits and therapies under the special education law and community resources. Understand the importance of the church, family, and professionals who have the tools to help anyone with a mental health diagnosis. Help individuals face the challenges and leave any adversity.

Abogando por personas que tienen un diagnostico de salud mental y equipando la Iglesia , las familias, la comunidad y a los profesionales que trabajan con ellos

Cecilia Mercado


Aprenderan el concepto de salud mental, la importancia de la abogacia para ayudar a accesar a todos los servicios, beneficios y terapias disponibles,bajo el estado , ley de educacion especial y programas en la comunidad. Importancia de que la Iglesia , las familias y los profesionales tengan las herramientas para ayudar a personas con un diagnostico de salud mental, para salir adelante con el reto de efrentarse ante cualquier adversidad.

The Spiritual and Emotional Roots and Treatment of Addiction

Dr. John Townsend


Addiction is increasing in severity in the world and the church. The Bible and current research agree on the solution. Dr. Townsend will provide you with the principles and skills to be free of addiction, and how to help those you love who struggle with addiction.

$20 Per Person
(Scholarships Available)