Faith Share 360°, a spirituality-based mental health initiative
designed by United Advocates for Children and Families, is a
fellowship of faith-based organizations that support the mental
well-being of families, children and youth through the
development of caring congregations.
In the United States, faith-based organizations have a long
tradition of providing essential services to people in need,
including persons with mental illness. Studies report 60% of
individuals with mental health issues first seek help from a
spiritual leader. Yet, less than 1/3 of faith leaders serve
congregations offering any outreach programs for mental
illnesses. Fifty percent of faith leaders report occurrences of
mental illness in their immediate family. In addition:
More than 1 million children in California are diagnosed with
a mental illness each year. Only 600,000 will receive appropriate
treatments: children and youth are suffering silently.
Half the children and youth in the child welfare system have
mental health problems.
Faith Share 360° is a statewide interfaith fellowship of
faith-based organizations that support the mental well-being of
families, children, and youth. The ‘360 degree’ symbol simply
means a complete turnaround from spirituality being the forgotten
dimension in mental health to an inclusive factor in treating the
full dimensions of the whole person. Faith Share 360° is not a
religious organization, but an interfaith fellowship and outreach
to all religions to promote a greater partnership between
faith-based organizations, families, and child serving agencies:
A New Social Contract.
Encouraging a Fellowship of Mental Health Ministries
It’s a known fact: 1 in 4 persons in our houses of worship has a
family member struggling with mental health issues. Because of
the magnitude of this problem and our spiritual commitment, we
are compelled to take action. The purpose of the fellowship is to
build bridges of shared knowledge and information between
faith-based leaders statewide, by transforming the mental health
system into a fully integrated system of services; these needed
services should be available, accessible, and affordable.
Faith Share 360° exists to promote mental health wellness,
education, and advocacy; bringing a compelling voice to the fact
that prayer, meditation, and a positive expression of one’s
spirituality can make a significant difference in sufferers of
depression and anxiety disorders. When required, the fellowship
advocates for public policy and public awareness campaigns (anti
stigma and social inclusion) that meets the needs or removes
barriers for our community, and provides both emotional and
spiritual support. The fellowship continues to be encouraged by
our interactions and sharing of stories of faith and courage.
Strengthening Caring Congregations
UACF works with each faith-based organization to develop a
program that is relevant for the pastor and congregation:
The congregation becomes a vital, central access point for
information, services, and counseling.
Training and education (mental wellness and mental illness).
Forming support groups within congregations.
Providing educational materials and learning tools.
Developing resource development skills (grant writing, UACF
as a fiscal agent, or vice versa).
Providing respite care to caregivers.
Access to mental healthcare services.
Connecting with a statewide fellowship of faith-based
Promoting a local and statewide public awareness campaign
Interacting and collaborating with child-serving agencies.
Creating a welcoming and nurturing environment within
Faith Share 360° online resource center for faith leaders and
Provide food, shelter, and transportation.
Caregiver prayer and meditation service (Prayer Chain
Access to a library of mental health sermons for clergy and
Providing Training and Resource Assistance
Parents and families of children and youth with mental illness
often do not know where to turn for help. Lack of community
services and support for their loved ones drain them physically,
emotionally, and financially. Families experience feelings of
guilt, denial, loss, isolation, and diminishment of hope. This
scenario takes on an even greater significance when those
experiencing mental illness are our children and youth. The UACF
Leadership Institute (training center) reaches out to faith
leaders and their congregations to impart vital knowledge and
training on mental disorders:
Understanding mental illness;
Help for faith leaders;
Creating caring congregations;
The unique role of faith communities.
For more information regarding Faith Share 360°, please contact
us at (916) 643-1530. We look forward to hearing from you and
inviting you into our Statewide Fellowship; and to addressing the
mental health needs of your organization.
Prayer Chain Online
United Advocates for Children and Families is pleased to
introduce a new program that allows caregivers to make prayer
requests and also pray for others. Prayer Chain Online is a web
application designed to keep your prayer requests confidential
and make praying easier and more productive. Specifically,
families with children with mental health challenges can offer
prayers and meditations to each other, thereby creating warm and
healing connections. This is a free service that can be accessed
24 hours a day. Simply click here to begin. Once
you access the site, click on the Browse
Groups tab, select Faith
Share 360°, then enter your information to begin.
If you need additional information or would like to access our
library of helpful resources, please click here.
Mental Health Ministries:
Mental Health Ministries provides resources for faith communities
that can be adapted to each congregation based on the needs and
makeup of the worshipping community. It has evolved into an
ecumenical and interfaith outreach and works with faith
communities, advocacy groups, community organizations, and mental
health professionals. The focus is on using one’s faith and
spirituality as an important part of the recovery and treatment
process and as a way for family members to find strength and hope
in caring for a loved one with a mental illness. United Advocates
for Children and Families is proud to share these important
resources from Mental Health Ministries and its dedicated
founder, Reverend Susan Gregg-Schroeder.
Interfaith Peacebuilding Guide - We welcome you to this
Interfaith Peacebuilding Guide, motivated by the threefold
purpose of the global United Religions Initiative, “to promote
enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously
motivated violence, and to create cultures of peace, justice and
healing for the Earth and all living beings.”
Committed to Protecting Privacy
United Advocates for Children and Families is committed to
protecting your privacy and developing technology that gives you
the most powerful and safe online experience. This Statement of
Privacy applies to the United Advocates for Children and Families
Web site and governs data collection and usage. By using the
United Advocates for Children and Families website, you consent
to the data practices described in this statement.
If you or a loved one is in immediate crisis, please call 911
or visit the nearest emergency room.
The UACF Hope Line is a message system for parents and caregivers
that provides resources and connections to individuals in your
community that may be able to assist you in finding appropriate
support services for your child’s mental health needs. Feel free
to leave a message on the UACF Hope Line and your call will be
returned as promptly as possible.