This initiative– begun by the Center for Innovation in Ministry at San Francisco Theological Seminary now at the Graduate School of Theology at the University of Redlands– features research exploration into the reasons for underuse of mental health systems by African American communities in the Bay Area. 2020 is the third consecutive year the grant has been received from the Kaiser Foundation of Northern California.
This research is conducted in partnership with academic researchers from Palo Alto University. All research was compliant with the standards set by the Institutional Review Board (also known as the Independent Ethics Committee.)
- Addresses the central challenge of distrust amongst marginalized communities, their religious and spiritual leaders, and mental health practitioners.
- Seeks to first understand the barriers unique to underserved communities, and then to find ways to overcome gaps in understanding among healthcare and pastoral care practitioners in order to increase effectiveness of mental health services.
- Focus on African American individuals in faith communities throughout Oakland and San Francisco, including LGBTQ+ and sexual minorities.
Kaiser Foundation of Northern California Innovation Grant (Kaiser Permanente Northern California Community Benefit Programs)
- Will continue creation of a prototype and procedural manual for the development of a training model for pastoral and mental health care by individuals with histories of cultural trauma.
- Will iterate the prototype of a Trust Network, consisting of community activists, pastoral care providers, and mental health professionals who have training and expertise in collaborative, culturally sensitive care. From Project Trust, Part 2 (2018-2019), the network is expected to grow 400%.
- Will add training in the creation of sustainable ministries and preaching for stigma reduction.
- Will continue to survey 10 African American churches about continued mental health and spirituality training and organizational development
- Will continue building the Toolbox for African-American pastors to help congregations understand and find resources for mental health and give appropriate referrals
- Will conduct multiple Mental Health First Aid training, developed from research findings, for participating organizations, their leaders, and mental health professionals.