But faith leaders say the challenges of this year have catapulted mental health efforts to the forefront of their mission. Others are inviting mental health professionals to speak to their congregations, undergoing mental health training themselves or adding more therapists to the church staff. Perhaps it would even lower the number of mental health crises that lead to police involvement, like the October death of Walter Wallace Jr., whose family said he was struggling with mental health issues when Philadelphia police shot him. The Bridges to Care and Recovery program trains faith leaders in “mental health first aid,” suicide prevention, substance use and more, through a 20-hour course. “It has opened our eyes to the reality of mental health needs.”Subscribe to KHN’s free Morning Briefing.