USC Dornsife College Of Letters Arts and Sciences

University of Southern California

Clergy/Mental Health Staff Roundtable Pilot Project


Overall, the Roundtable Pilot Program appears to have reached its goal of encouraging clergy and MH staff to build bridges, foster dialogue, and engage in cooperative care. The Roundtables also had unexpected positive results, particularly for clergy coming to a better understanding of “self care” and reducing their feelings of isolation. All pilot programs, by their very nature, have areas that need adjusting. In the Roundtable Pilot Program the most significant problem was largely a result of a difference in methodology in recruiting clergy, and adequately communicating to them the full expectations and scope of the program. This, combined with existing—and longstanding—community feelings led to a certain level of distrust, and even exit, from the Roundtable in one SPA. Our hope is that this report can be a resource as the DMH moves to the next phase in their mission to meet the needs of individuals and their families navigating lives with mental health issues.