Mental illness, as commonly understood, is the improper functioning of the brain, the most complex of all organs of the human body. Mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and a daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.
In our parish are people who live daily with mental illness. At times this may not be evident, and at other times episodes may disrupt every aspect of life, particularly relationships. Most basic in making a difference in the lives of people with mental illness is a loving regard for the person. We accompany those suffering or dealing with these challenges to remind them that they are not alone on the journey through healing and recovery.
Under the auspices of the Diocese of San Diego, our Mental Health Ministry exists to serve individuals experiencing mental health challenges and their families by offering God's hope and love through spiritual companionship, practical support, and education. We, the volunteers of this ministry, have either experienced mental health challenges, are family members of those who have experienced mental health challenges, or have worked with those affected by it. We have a heart for giving. Let us share some of the things we have learned and continue to learn on our mental health journeys. Let us walk with you through your mental health experiences and support you in whatever way we can.
Mental Health Resources
- The Diocesan Office of Spirituality and Family Life has a database of mental health professionals; please call the office at (858) 490-8299.
- The University of San Diego Tele Mental Health Training Clinic provides graduate level counselor trainees under the supervision of California licensed counselors. Make an appointment at (619) 260-7670 or [email protected].
- Text HOME to 741741 to receive crisis counseling through texting. Available anytime and anywhere.
- Access and Crisis line 1888 724-7240 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Mobile crisis response team can be accessed through this number.
- "988" is the Suicide hotline for people who are thinking about suicide or are concerned about a friend or family member.
- "It's Up to Us" San Diego Crisis Line: click here
If you need something you don’t see here we have many resources. Please contact us at the e-mail below.
Coping Tips: Maintaining Spiritual/Mental Health during COVID and Beyond
- Pray: Love God, talk to God, gratitude, adore, petition for help
- Be selective about what you put into your mind, especially first thing and last thing each day. Gospel, scripture vs. "news"
- Be gracious to yourself and others: treat yourself and others the way God treats you: grace, mercy, forgiveness
- Love others: nurture supportive relationships; connect with loved ones who understand and respect how you feel -- family members, faith leaders, people you trust
- Serve others: educate yourself on ways to help or get involved; just do it
- Mindfulness: be present to the present
- Share your feelings instead of stuffing them; if you don't express your feelings in appropriate ways, they will come out in inappropriate ways and at inconvenient times
- Maintain regular routines to the extent possible
- Set a limit on media consumption, including social media, local, or national news
- Try to do your best in taking care of yourself physically as well as mentally: make sure to get enough sleep and rest; stay hydrated and avoid excessive amounts of caffeine or alcohol; eat healthy foods
- Focus on what you can do to care for yourself right here right now
- Start with small, doable steps for you to cope or take action as you are ready
- Mental Stimulation: novel and complex environment, learn new skill, playing piano, new language, challenge mind with puzzles, crosswords
- If overwhelmed, get help, consider a therapist for your mental health the same as a doctor for your heart after a heart attack
Recommended Reading List
When a Loved One Dies by Suicide, Comfort, Hope, and Healing for Grieving Catholics
edited by Ed Shoener and John P. Dolan
The Catholic Guide to Depression
Aaron Kheriaty, MD, with Fr. John Clark, STD
I AM NOT SICK I Don't Need Help! How to help soneone with Mental Illness Accept Treatment
Xavier Amador, Ph.D.
Reflections from the Everlasting Bridge
Stories of Hope for Christian Women Based on True Experiences
BrainXP: Living with Mental Illness, A Young Teenager's Perspective
Christine Marie Frey
The Hiding Place
Corie Ten Boom
Man's Search for Meaning
When Bad Things Happen to Good People
Harold S. Kushner