St. James' Episcopal Church - Potomac 301-762-8040 office@stjamespotomac.org

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.

 
Youth Mental Health First Aid Course Coming to St. James’ in May

Saturday, May 18, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Register online here

Join us on Saturday, May 18 in the St. James’ undercroft for a youth mental health first aid course offered through the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. A certified instructor will train adults to assist an adolescent (age 12-18) experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge, or who is in crisis. Some pre-work is required before the class and will be provided upon registration. Successful completion of a quiz at the end of the course will grant participants a three-year certification in Youth Mental Health First Aid.

Please register online here or contact the parish office at office@stjamespotomac.org to sign up. The cost of the course has been covered by the St. James’ Mental Health Ministry and is free for participants. A light lunch of pizza and salad will be provided at noon on the day of the course.

Crisis Help

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.

Books, Articles, Apps, and More

Have you read something that helped you? Here are some sources that may help.

Please send email to kirsten@stjamespotomac.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.

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, james@stjamespotomac.org, or the parish office, office@stjamespotomac.org.

 

“Stronger Together” Virtual Gathering

Find support and fellowship 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). Drop by occasionally, regularly, or whenever you think this might be good for you.

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.

“Stronger Together” Virtual Gathering

Find support and fellowship 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). Drop by occasionally, regularly, or whenever you think this might be good for you.

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.

Prayers for Mental Health – Virtual Gathering

Please join us third Mondays at 7 p.m. on Zoom. We offer prayers to support our family members and others in the community living with mental illness, and give thanks for what God is doing in our lives.

The virtual gathering is led by one of our clergy and/or one of the Mental Health leaders. Our time together will include Scripture reading, prepared prayers, time for silence, and prayers by participants.

Access to the meeting is shared here and in our weekly parish emails. To receive these emails, contact us.

“Stronger Together” Topics and Prayer on Demand Videos

The blog below highlights the topics discussed at “Stronger Together” on Thursday evenings. 

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. Find the prayer videos at the end of this page.

 

Prayer on Demand Videos

The St. James’ Mental Health Leaders Group has created these “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.