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Congregational Depression Awareness Program

Congressional Depression Awareness Program logo

The Congregational Depression Awareness Program trains volunteers from faith communities to share important information about depression in their congregations and communities and to also provide support for individuals directly and indirectly impacted by depression. Participants in this program receive instruction, resources, and ongoing supervision on the following topics:

  • Recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression
  • Strategies to overcome the stigma associated with depression and other mental illnesses
  • Medical and psychosocial treatments for depression
  • Assisting individuals who need help identifying and accessing mental health services
  • Providing informal (i.e., non-professional) support that can complement the professional care individuals suffering from depression are receiving
  • Providing guidance and support for individuals who have a loved one suffering from depression
  • Recognizing and responding to suicide warning signs
  • Local and national resources (e.g., National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health America, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention)

The program uses Depression: Out of the Darkness and Into the Light, by W. Daniel Hale, Ph.D. (excerpt) As a token of appreciation, each CDAP participant received a complimentary copy of the book to inspire their ministries and help guide conversations about mental health with their congregations.


Program Handouts

Caring for a Loved One

Recognizing the Risk of Suicide

Treatment Strategies and Options

We Need to Talk About Depression

Faith communities can be a remarkable source of support and strength. Learn how important it is to start the conversation about mental illness.

We Need to Talk: A Story of Loss and Hope

Millions of people suffer from depression. Effective treatments for depression exist, but only half of those who are depressed seek help. Start the conversation about mental illness. It could save a life.


We are pleased to report that 19 volunteers representing 12 congregations participated in our pilot program. The initial results are very encouraging. Volunteers gave the training sessions and materials high marks, and many have already begun regular educational programs for their congregations. We will continue working with these volunteers to develop more materials and programming resources. As we do, we will be adding them to our website and making them available for all who are interested. We also will be scheduling additional workshops or webinars that will be open to interested individuals.

We invite you to browse through the website to learn how you can incorporate CDAP into your congregation and community and offer support to individuals directly and indirectly impacted by depression.

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