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