Implementation of a Program to Improve the Continuity of Mental Health Care Through Clergy Outreach and Professional Engagement (C.O.P.E.) Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Depressive Disorder
  • Models, Theoretical


  • There are over 260,000 religious congregations in the United States. They and their clergy are de facto providers of mental health care. Recent models promoting collaboration between clergy and psychologists advocate that shared religious values underlie effective working relationships. This view may impede collaboration with the majority of psychologists, who are not religious, excluding congregants from needed expertise. The Clergy Outreach and Professional Engagement (C.O.P.E.) model was developed and implemented to facilitate continuity of care across a diversity of caregivers. Handouts based on National Institute of Mental Health prevention science categories and case examples illustrate when and how clergy and clinicians would collaborate. The authors introduce and define the term burden reduction to describe a C.O.P.E. outcome. They consider this clinical work religion inclusive rather than faith based. © 2008 American Psychological Association.

publication date

  • April 2008



  • Academic Article


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0735-7028.39.2.218

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 218

end page

  • 228


  • 39


  • 2