Mental health coaching: a faith-based paraprofessional training program

Matthew S. Stanford, Madeline R. Stiers, Tim Clinton, Ron Hawkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study was undertaken to assess the feasibility and scalability of training volunteers in churches and faith-based nonprofit organisations to serve as mental health paraprofessionals. Feasibility was assessed using a post-training survey as well as participant feedback (n = 48). For the scalability phase, training was moved online and available on-demand. Participants who completed the training online were asked to complete an anonymous survey (n = 1024). Responses to post-training surveys during the feasibility phase were overwhelmingly positive as was participant written and verbal feedback. Responses to the online survey during the scalability phase showed that most mental health coaches were actively using the skills they acquired in the training to support individuals living with mental health concerns. Placing paraprofessionals in existing networks such as churches offers those in psychological distress an easily accessible form of support and may help to address the current mental health workforce gap.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1007-1020
Number of pages14
JournalMental Health, Religion and Culture
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2023


  • Paraprofessionals
  • christianity
  • early intervention
  • faith communities
  • mental health
  • religion & spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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