Taking on the “Perfect Storm”: Faith-based Organizations and Partnerships Address COVID-19 and Critical Behavioral Health Needs in Communities of Color

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. This July, communities are facing the “perfect storm” of crises that are deepening the disparities in mental health and wellbeing. The current COVID-19 pandemic, economic crisis, behavioral health crisis, and the civil unrest stemming from recent incidents of police brutality has impacted all of America, but disproportionately affects communities of color.

Community and faith-based organizations play an essential role in helping these communities handle deeply experienced trauma, loss, and grief. Poor access to and mistrust of health care systems leads individuals to reach out to their familiar and trusted faith-based organizations and leaders. In many cultures, spirituality is a key driver of wellbeing and hope. Beyond this, faith-based entities have also been reliable providers of social services and emotional supports, and the coordinators of a wide array of health-related services and public health campaigns. Well-established and new models of faith-based partnerships are continuing to augment the limited behavioral health workforce in these communities. Faith leaders are coming together across communities to organize, support, provide, engage and instill hope.

During this NNED virtual roundtable, panelists discussed:

  • Faith-based partnerships that address the behavioral health in communities of color and augment the behavioral health workforce;
  • Cultural and spiritual practices provided by faith-based organizations to strengthen community and social connectedness during times of crises;
  • Faith leaders’ strategies to help diverse communities cope with trauma, loss, and grief; and
  • The importance of and role of faith leaders in promoting self-care among the health care workforce, caregivers, and themselves.

Population(s) of Focus: Communities of color, faith communities, spiritual communities

Links to Resource:

Contact Information for Panelists:

Date: 2020


  1. Dan Andrus

    July 20, 2020

    The link to the recording goes to a screen that says the video is unavailable.

    Thank you.