Purpose of a Mental Health Training Collaborative
Mental Health Training Collaboratives (MHTCs) develop the faith community’s capacity to collaborate with providers, advocates, and recovery leadership in the service of supporting recovery and wellness. The primary focus often is on empowering individuals and families who are coping with serious mental health issues, but the MHTC also addresses mental health challenges in childhood, the experience of and recovery from trauma, substance use disorders and mental health issues of aging.

MHTCs that have been established with help from the Pathways National Training Initiative or under other auspices have most often operated in metropolitan areas, but the MHTC model of organizing for mental health ministry can be established in any locale.

Local Planning Committee
MHTCS normally are launched by a Local Planning Committee, which is a voluntary membership of congregations, faith based groups, mental health education and advocacy organizations, mental health providers, and community allies which organizes basic mental health ministry training with clusters of neighboring congregations and an annual calendar of continuing education activities.

An individual designated to “staff” the planning committee and the life of the cooperative often provides focal leadership. The MHTC often receives a boost from a local congregation, pastoral counseling center, mental health ministry organization that is willing to serve as a “home” or “backbone organization” for the MHTC, and as a non-profit fiscal agent to receive and disburse any funds supportive of the cooperative effort.

Neighborhood Clusters
MHTCs in larger urban or metropolitan areas often identify clusters of neighborhoods that form a geographical sub-area.  Cluster Facilitators within the MHTC take responsibility for the cluster of neighbors by forming relationships with faith communities and other allies in the neighborhoods within their purview. The St. Louis MHTC is a good example of the successful employment of the neighborhood cluster approach.   Craig Rennebohm, former Executive Director of Pathways has developed a model for facilitating neighborhood clusters. Click here for a succinct, downlodable guide: pnticluster.

Core Curriculum
The PNTI Core Curriculum is used by many MHTCs as the starting point in training faith communities in the basics of mental health ministry.  The core curriculum includes an Introduction to Mental Health Ministry; Companionship training; and Congregation Mental Health Teams.

Continuing Education
MHTCs provide communities with assistance in accessing denominational resources, trainings such as Mental Health First Aid, resources on building a caring congregation, help from NAMI Faithnet and connecting to a wide range of local, state and national organizations.

Annual Calendar
MHTCs develop a shared schedule of educational events and resource activities.

Collaboration in a Statewide Network
Local sites are encouraged to become part of a statewide network.

Connection to the Pathways National Training Initiative Program
Local sites are invited to be recognized and included in the annual roster of NTI cooperatives by submitting a list of planning committee members, participating congregations and their local annual a calendar.

Contact Rev. Jermine Alberty at jalberty@pathways2promise.org if you would like to discuss the possibility of creating a MHTC  in your community.