Schizophrenia: Three Moms in the Trenches

Mental Illness and Faith - How Can Clergy and Congregations Help? (Episode 44)

May 12, 2022 Randye Kaye Season 2 Episode 19
Schizophrenia: Three Moms in the Trenches
Mental Illness and Faith - How Can Clergy and Congregations Help? (Episode 44)
Show Notes

When Mental Illness happens, it happens to the whole family.

 Do families turn to their houses of faith for help ? And if they do, what happens?

We explore this in Episode 44-    with 3 moms, one Rabbi and one Pastor. It doesn’t cover all faiths, of course, but it’s a start.

Guests: Rabbi Evan Schultz, Congregation B’Nai Israel, Connecticut

Rev. Mariah Furness Tollgaard, Pastor


  • Are you aware, as a faith leader, about mental health issues (especially SMI) in your congregants?
  • What does your faith say about SMI?
  • How do you, as a faith leader, respond to families dealing with mental illness?
  • Is learning about Mental Illness part of your training?
  • What part does stigma play in talking openly about SMI? - is it taboo to talk about it?
  • How can we as activists/advocates help faith leaders serve their constituents?

According to Research (

  • Only a quarter of churches (27 percent) have a plan to assist families affected by mental illness according to pastors. And only 21 percent of family members are aware of a plan in their church.
  • Few churches (14 percent) have a counselor skilled in mental illness on staff, or train leaders how to recognize mental illness (13 percent) according to pastors.
  • Two-thirds of pastors (68 percent) say their church maintains a list of local mental health resources for church members. But few families (28 percent) are aware those resources exist.
  • Family members (65 percent) and those with mental illness (59 percent) want their church to talk openly about mental illness, so the topic will not be a taboo. But 66 percent of pastors speak to their church once a year or less on the subject.


NAMI FaithNet

Guide for Faith Leaders from

Yom Kippur Sermon re mental illness

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Randye Kaye -Broadcaster, Actress, Voice Talent, Speaker, and Author (Ben Behind his Voices”, “Happier Made Simple”)

Miriam Feldman – Artist, Mom, Author “He Came in With It

Mindy Greiling – member of the Minnesota House of Representatives for twenty years. Activist, Legislator, Author (“Fix What You Can“)



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Randye Kaye
Mindy Greiling
Miriam (Mimi) Feldman