Bridges to Hope:

A Mental Health Training for
Faith Community Leaders

Click here if you’d like to receive information about training dates in August and November.


Because religion and spirituality often play a vital role in healing, it’s not uncommon for families and individuals experiencing mental health issues to turn to a faith leader first for help. Yet faith leaders, staff and key outreach volunteers are often lacking the information, education and resources to be the “bridge to hope” needed as people navigate serious, sometimes life-threatening, mental health issues.

How do I register for this training?  The Bridges to Hope training on May 25 is almost full. Visit the registration page and follow the directions to register here. If the training fills, you will automatically be placed on a wait list. If you would like to receive information about the upcoming trainings in August and November, please complete the contact form here.

What does the training include?  This introductory 3-hour mental health training features:

  • An informative overview of prevalent mental health myths and common symptoms of mental health disorders
  • Simple ideas for building “bridges to hope” for your faith community
  • A tool kit of community mental health resources
  • A tool for developing an action plan to address the needs in your community and optional post-training support

Who should attend? This training was created specifically for leaders in the faith community. To maximize the benefits of the training, faith communities are required to send at least two faith leaders to the training. Examples of faith leaders include:

  • Rabbis, imams, clergy, priests, pastors, deacons, elders
  • Staff of faith communities
  • Volunteer or lay leaders providing outreach and support for faith communities (such as St. Vincent dePaul, Stephen Ministry)

If I can’t attend this training, will there be other opportunities? NAMI Austin will be providing Bridges to Hope on a regular basis. Please click here and we’ll add you to a list which will receive regular updates on future training opportunities.

Registration will open soon for the following trainings:

Thursday, August 24, 2017 from 9:00 a.m.-noon: Saint John’s United Methodist
Tuesday, November 7, 2017 from 9:00 a.m.-noon: Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

What is the cost of this training?  Thanks to funding from Methodist Healthcare Ministries, there is no cost for Bridges to Hope trainings in 2017. However, we do ask that you register as space is limited to 50 individuals.

Due to overwhelming interest, the Bridges to Hope training scheduled for May 25 is full.


Thursday, May 25, 2017  |  9:00 a.m.-noon
St. David’s Foundation at 1303 San Antonio St. (map)

If this registration fills, you will automatically be added to the wait list. We will be hosting additional training opportunities in August & November. 

Resources for Faith Communities

NEW! Mental Health: A Guide for Faith Leaders

NAMI: Reaching out to Faith Communities Curriculum

Pathways to Promise: Three Steps to a Mental Health Ministry

Grace Alliance: First Steps/Daily Steps/Difficult Steps Resources

Hope and Healing Center

Presbyterian Church USA: Comfort My People

Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy

SAMHSA: Information for Faith-Based and Community Leaders

Mental Health Ministries

Interfaith Network on Mental Illness Resources for Community and Faith Leaders

Local Resources and Information

NAMI Austin Resource Guide

Finding a Mental Health Provider

Low-Cost and Sliding Scale Counseling Providers

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers

Crisis Resources

NAMI Austin 911 Checklist

NAMI Austin Crisis Planning Handout

NAMI Austin Crisis Resource Page

Travis County Crisis Services

Williamson County Crisis Services

Burnet County Crisis Services

Hays County Crisis Services

Mental Health Websites

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Institute of Mental Health

SAMHSA’s GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation

NAMI Hearts and Minds (promoting the idea of wellness in both mind and body)

Mental Health America

The Trevor Project (LGBTG)

Veterans Crisis Line