CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY

Mental Health Ministry

Our Mental Health Ministry exists to serve individuals and families experiencing mental illness by offering God's hope and love through encouragement and spiritual companionship, practical support, resources, and education. Our parish has made a commitment to become a faith community that both understands mental illness and can provide compassionate support. Our parish Mental Health Ministry is not intended to replace professional or clinical services and does not provide professional care. Our volunteers are trained in appropriate procedures to maintain the privacy of those with whom they relate. Our Parish offers assistance because we love, care for and want the best for families and neighbors. Let's work together to remove the stigma of mental illness. 

Parish Companionship Team: 858-367-0049 


San Diego Access and Crisis Line: 888-724-7240 (24/7 suicide and intervention hotline)

Email  [email protected]

In an emergency, please call 911


General Resources:  

  1. The National Alliance on Mental Illness San Diego (NAMI San Diego) provides resources and assistance for maintaining mental health and wellness during a pandemic. 
  2. This tipsheet from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) addresses COVID-19 coping while sequestering.  
  3. The California Surgeon General released this playbookfor reducing COVID-19 stress. 
  4. The California Governor’s Office website lists resources on emotional support and well-being.
  5. Mindful.org has a resource guide to finding calm and nourishing resilience during the COVID outbreak.  

Family and Children 

  1. Taking Care of Your Family During Coronavirus and Other Emerging Infectious Disease Outbreaks (Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Department of Psychiatry)  
  2. Helping Homebound Children during the COVID-19 Outbreak (Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Department of Psychiatry)  
  3. The Child Mind Institute provides a range of supportive resources — such as daily tip videos and Facebook Live video chats with expert clinicians  — every day at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and comprehensive resources for families regarding specific coronavirus topics such as remote-learning and managing anxiety. 
  4. Another playbook from the California Surgeon General’s office describes stress relief for kids. 

Advice from Experts 

UC San Diego Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine Dr. Helane Fronek 

  • Connect with the parts of your life that are really meaningful for you.  
  • Be mindful.  Bring yourself back to the present moment. Self-compassion is very powerful.  
  • Give yourself permission to feel betrayed and disappointed by what has happened. Those are valid feelings. This is an unprecedented time. On the flipside … look at the strengths, the core values you hold that helped you get through other challenging times.  Have confidence that you  get through this as well. 

Marriage and Family Therapist Marc Rosenberg 

  • Set up routines. Establish a morning routine. The way we get up in the morning really creates some sound health benefits, in terms of clarity, focus and attention.  
  • If you and spouse are both working from home, having designated space set aside — boundaries around where you work. 
  • Volunteer. Knock on your next-door neighbor’s door and ask if they need any help. Just having that intentionalism of seeking support or supporting others can be so important to our mental health. 

UC San Diego Associate Professor, Family Medicine and Public Health Dr. Suzi Hong 

  • For younger children, this can be stressful but also a good teachable moment, especially when teaching empathy and compassion to children. 
  • Mild-to-moderate exercise can have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. One of the ways COVID-19 negatively affects us is through long-lasting inflammation. 

UC San Diego Professor Emeritus, Psychiatry Dr. David Janowsky 

  • Accept reality - this is the way it is at this point and you didn’t have anything to do with it.