A Conversation for Those Standing at the Intersection of Faith and Mental Health


Expand Your Footprint

In an August New York Times article entitled Friending Bias, David Leonhart explored studies on what helps lower income children experience upward mobility.  Among the findings were that communities connecting people across class lines are key for helping children rise out of poverty.  One example of this reality highlighted by the author was faith communities.  Leonhart observed, “Churches and other religious organizations may have some lessons to teach other parts of society. Although many churches are socioeconomically homogeneous, those with some diversity tend to foster more cross-class interactions than most other social activities. Churches have lower levels of what the researchers call socioeconomic “friending bias.”’ 

These insights are significant for those at the intersection of faith and mental health.  For instance, mental health professionals would do well to see faith communities as offering not only spiritual support but community integration to those they serve.  Conversely, faith leaders should feel emboldened to see their congregations as a resource for not only spiritual growth but public health.  When providers and congregations take these perspectives, collaboration becomes a way for each to become an even better version of themselves.  Providers will expand their options for connecting people to communal networks while congregations will increase their opportunities to serve the poor and marginalized.  Some avoid such collaboration for fear of abandoning their core organizational mission.  However, Leonhart shows us that rather than diminishing our mission, we expand its footprint when we collaborate for the common good.

David Eckert, Director of Intersect

Recommended Resources
Below are resources for the purpose of wellness, education, and service.


Faith & Mental Health Summit

How does our mental health affect us as individuals? What about its impact on communities and churches? What are challenges in talking about, and taking care of our faith and mental health of ourselves, children, and families? How can we do better? Let’s talk about it!

Date: Saturday, October 8th, 2022
Time: 8:00AM - 12:00PM
Location: Upper Perkiomen Community Church
258 Main Street, East Greenville, PA 18041


Supporting People with Mental Illness in Your Congregation and Community

Virtual Workshop brought to you by Ambler Church of the Brethren

Trainer: Dave Eckert, Director of Intersect
Date: Saturday, October 22, 2022
Time: 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Location: Online 


Looking for a way to help those in your community?

Intersect: Community Needs Facebook Group

This Facebook group functions as a care portal for faith communities who are looking to meet local needs in Bucks and Montgomery Counties. We will post needs specific to the individuals supported by Access Services. These may include needs for relational support, material resources, and/or monetary donations. We encourage you to share this page with your family and friends. While we started this page to provide concrete service opportunities to local faith communities, we encourage any community members who are interested in giving back to join!

Questions to Ponder

  1. What are the social benefits you’ve seen of faith community participation for yourself or those you serve?  
  2. How would you like to see your organization or faith community become even more effective through collaboration?

Do you have something to contribute or a question to ask?

Intersect is brought to you by:


Access Services
500 W Office Center Drive, Suite 100  | Fort Washington, Pennsylvania 19034
215-540-2150, x1286    deckert@accessservices.org

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