A church-based peer-led group intervention for mental illness

Edward B. Rogers, Matthew S. Stanford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Religion and spirituality (R/S) can be powerful supports and provide important coping resources for individuals in recovery. Faith communities seem to offer many advantages for recovery-oriented support, but have rarely been the setting for empirically examined psychosocial rehabilitation efforts. This study describes the outcomes for individuals in Living Grace Groups (LGGs), a peer-led group intervention for mental illness that is based in churches and integrates R/S. Persons at all active LGGs were surveyed before and after participation using well-validated scales for recovery, psychiatric symptoms, and spirituality. LGGs attracted individuals with a broad range of persistent psychiatric difficulties, who described religion as important to them and rated the groups as very helpful. Participants reported improvements in recovery and spirituality as well as reductions in psychiatric symptoms. R/S-integrated support groups may improve care by increasing cultural match, as well as providing more access to recovery-oriented care by tapping the resources of faith communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)470-481
Number of pages12
JournalMental Health, Religion and Culture
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 3 2015


  • church
  • peer leadership
  • religious support
  • support group

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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