St. James’ has discerned a calling to address mental health and wellness. As we progress on this journey, we’ll share resources and information here. Scroll down to find our “Prayers on Demand” video series, where you can access a companion prayer video for various difficult or joyous times in life.
988 – The National Crisis Hotline
Call or text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org 24/7 for yourself or a loved one in need of support for:
- Thoughts of suicide
- Mental health or substance use crisis
- Any other kind of emotional distress
More Crisis Help and Resources
Montgomery County Crisis Center provides crisis services 24 hours a day/ 365 days a year. These services are provided over the telephone (240-777-4000) or in person at 1301 Piccard Drive in Rockville (no appointment needed).
Mobile Crisis Outreach will respond anywhere within Montgomery County to provide emergency psychiatric evaluations. Full crisis assessments and treatment referrals are provided for all crises, both psychiatric and situational. In addition, the program has six crisis beds as an alternative to hospitalization for those who are uninsured or are insured within the public mental health system.
NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
NAMI Montgomery County
Find local resources for mental health support, education, and ways to raise awareness of mental health issues.
SAMHSA: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
US Department of Health and Human Services. Find treatment near you, mental health training, and crisis support.
Take our Anxiety Management Survey
How Do You Cope with Anxiety?
Take the St. James’ Survey on Anxiety Management Techniques
The most common mental health concern in the US is anxiety. Therefore, the St. James’ Mental Health Ministry is using this survey as a way for parishioners to share non-medical techniques they use to help manage anxiety.
We are also interested in understanding what types of mental wellness programs you would be interested in. Your response is completely anonymous. Our goal is to simply be able to capture and share ideas, and use the information to shape the Mental Health Ministry’s future programs and initiatives.
Books, Articles, Apps, and More
Have you read something that helped you? Here are some sources that may help.
Please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to share a resource. St. James’ does not endorse or promote these sources, and they are not a replacement for professional care.
Article: Best Mental Health Apps to Use, from Healthline
From the article: Many mental health apps can give you tools, activities, and support to help you manage your stress. There are apps available to help with general mental health concerns and specific conditions. This article covers the 10 best mental health apps for 2022.
Book: The Art of Calm: Spiritual Exercises for the Anxious Soul, by Roger Hutchison
A practical guide with exercises to manage stress and anxiety.
Perfect for Mental Health Awareness Month in May: the author shares his personal struggles with mental health to de-stigmatize these issues and let readers know that they are not alone. The exercises and reflections included at the end of each chapter encourage readers to try out a variety of creative practices to find their way to a more centered and peaceful life. These exercises and reflections also lend themselves well to a group context, where readers can share their projects and reflections with an encouraging community.
Support at St. James’
Find support and fellowship with “Stronger Together” on Thursday evenings
This St. James’ group meets Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m. by Zoom to discuss a new mental health topic each week (see our blog below for the latest topics).
The conversations are easy-going, positive, supportive, and often a lot of fun. Sometimes the topics are heavy, but more commonly they are about everyday issues affecting our mental well-being, or the experiences of living with or caring for someone living with mental illness. There’s never any pressure to share; some choose to spend the time together listening. We pray for one another and do our best to grow our empathy and listening skills.
Access to the meeting is shared here and in our weekly parish emails. To receive these emails, contact us.
More About Mental Health Ministries at St. James'
St. James’ Mental Health Ministries
Since 2018, St. James’ has discerned a call from God to a ministry with people living with mental illness and the people who love them. This ministry has included many initiatives, but underlying them all is an overarching understanding of how we are being called to the Mental Health Ministries that has developed.
We value and respect the contributions that mental health professionals and medications are able to offer people living with mental illness. Our ministries are not a substitute for them, yet we seek to find how we, as a church, might provide a positive addition to what they offer in ways that we are best suited to do so as a congregation.
This is what we have developed so far:
- We create a supportive community where people are able to be open, to the degree that they feel comfortable doing so, about their experiences with mental illness, knowing that they are fully loved by God and the community.
- We help reduce the silence and stigma that surround mental illness, and increase compassionate awareness and accurate understanding of it.
- We advocate for society meeting the needs of people living with mental illness and the people who love them.
The Leaders Group of the Mental Health Ministries meets monthly to help plan the year’s MHM Initiatives. If you have more questions about the ministries, contact The Rev. James Isaacs, email@example.com, or the parish office, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mental Health Ministry News and Prayer on Demand Videos
Mental Health Ministry News appears in the blog posts below.
The St. James’ Mental Health Leaders Group has created some “on demand” prayer videos to accompany those who would like a companion or some guidance in their prayer time. We are happy to pray with you wherever you are.
Find the prayer videos at the end of this page.
Relationships: Friendships (Are We in a Recession?)
Hello friends, We have another wonderful installment this week in our series healthy relationships. But we get to that, however, please remember that we're meeting Wednesday evening at 7 pm since it's Holy Week! We'll be talking about friendships: how they differ from...
Relationships: Building Trust, with Brene Brown
Hello friends, We're continuing on the theme of healthy relationships this week, this time focusing on trust. While trust in relationships is a very relevant topic for all of us, it can take on new meaning when you are living with mental illness. To get the...
Relationships: The Four Attachment Styles
Hello friends, Attachment is an important concept in psychology that influences a lot of how we interact with others, from romantic partners to total strangers and everyone in between. We're going to take an initial dive into this topic by exploring the four main...
Stronger Together: A Different Five-Second Rule
Hello friends, You know the "5-second rule," right? Well this week we're going to talk about a new 5-second rule that has nothing to do with floor cleanliness. This one is all about how we establish first impressions of people so that we less likely unconsciously...
Stronger Together: Screen Time
Improve mental strength by better managing screen time.
Stronger Together: Boosting Self-Confidence
It's easy to spot someone who is full of confidence, but what does that actually mean? Why does confidence seem to come easier to some people than others? And what happens to our mental well-being when we persistently struggle to feel confident? In this week's...
Stronger Together: The Empathy Gap
Hi friends, This week we're going to talk about one reason why we tend to do things that are perplexing even to us. You know the frustration: you think about a behavior you engaged in or a decision you made a few days ago and ask yourself, "why did I do that?" The...
Another Walk for Mental Health!
On January 14, St. James' parishioners again gathered their supportive furry companions and kids and anyone else who wanted to come along for a walk on the C & O Canal towpath. We explored Carderock South this time. It was a cold windy day, but the ducks were...
Stronger Together – Mental Health Basics
We’re going to dive back into the “basics” of mental health: what it is, how we define it, and what that means for better understanding mental illness. Our warm-up question for this week: What’s one fact about you that most people are surprised to learn?
Stronger Together – Happy New Year!
Welcome to 2023! Our theme for this week is “living a good life in 2023,” which, while related to mental health, is mostly about our broader well-being… Our warm-up question for this week: What’s the worst–or funniest–New Year’s resolution you or someone you know ever made?