Programs for Faith Communities

Bring this powerful experience on mental health to your church and become a more loving and effective community!

Shattering Stigma with Stories: Mental Health and the Church is a one-day conference to open dialogue and create safe spaces within communities of faith around issues of mental health. Hear the hearts and personal stories behind mental health diagnoses.  

Designed for church leaders and the general member in the pew; people who have little or no experience with mental illness; those who live with mental illness; and family or friends with loved ones who struggle.

Church is often the first place someone turns in a crisis, including a mental health crisis, and for good reason. Faith communities are known for their skill caring for those with a new baby,  an acute illness or hospitalization.

But when the issue is mental health, too often we in the Church feel helpless.

We are afraid of doing the wrong thing, not sure how to help or what to do. As a result, those who live with mental illness wind up feeling isolated, ashamed and unloved in the very community where they hoped to find strength! Meanwhile we suffer from the lost opportunity to better love those on the margins.

Shattering Stigma can help! Attendees gain:

  • a deeper understanding of life with mental health challenges
  • perspective on how faith calls us to understand mental illness
  • increased skills and confidence to respond compassionately and effectively to those who live with mental illness, their families or friends.


What happens at Shattering Stigma with Stories?

  • Impactful interactive exercises designed to shatter the stigma of mental illness
  • Keynote speakers bridging the chasm between the faith community and mental health community, with trainings including suicide prevention and trauma.
  • Personal testimonies from people of faith who may live with:

✦ Childhood trauma ✦ Schizo-affective disorder  ✦ Anorexia/Eating disorders ✦ Alcoholism/substance abuse

✦ Depression/Anxiety  ✦ Bipolar disorder ✦ and caregivers and family members

Tara also speaks to churches and conferences about mental health, trauma and other related issues, and provides consulting to church leadership and staff. Interested in bringing Tara or Shattering Stigma to your congregation? Contact Tara here!

Shattering Stigma Now Seeking Host Congregations

Shattering Stigma host congregations provide financial investment, space, volunteers and organizational commitment. Shattering Stigma founder Tara Rolstad provides all conference planning, facilitation, speaker selection and preparation, event moderation and keynote.

Ideal host churches (more than one church can partner to host!) include larger congregations with appropriate seating and facilities for a conference. Expected attendance can easily be between 100-250 people. Host congregations are integrally involved in the planning and execution of each conference so that it reflects your needs, your community and your culture, including members of your own community sharing their stories.



What pastors are saying about Shattering Stigma with Stories: Mental Health and the Church

“Tara Rolstad is at the forefront of a vital and timely cause: helping us think compassionately about the impact of mental illness on the family, the church, and the community. For too long we’ve only whispered about the subject or felt ashamed when depression, bipolar, or other cognitive dysfunction impacted us or our families. With raw vulnerability and unexpected humor, Tara is helping break the stigma around mental health, so that we can all do a better job of loving our family and neighbors well.”

—Marc Alan Schelske, speaker, pastor, and author of “The Wisdom of Your Heart”


What do attendees get from a Shattering Stigma conference?

“The love, caring and sharing to educate that we are not alone and that we can help one another in very constructive ways.”

“Appreciation of the depth of wounds and the slow walk to normalcy. I was impressed that this conference was held in a church which showed churches can start mental health.”

“It helped me to really realize that many people have a very hard life and may act differently because of it –still they need more love because of it.”

“The Shattering Stigma conference helped reinforce to me that I’m not alone in my struggles with mental illness and trauma. It was encouraging how many people in a faith-based setting came together to work on loving and supporting people better. This empowered me to continue finding my voice so that I can advocate for others like myself.”

“Helped me be able to better understand my journey and my families, supported my core belief of no shame and how we need to embrace people who are struggling”

“I have family or friends who are experiencing some of these struggles and it helps me to have more empathy and lets me know that just walking beside someone who is hurting is helpful and I don’t have to be afraid that I’m going to say the wrong thing.”


To bring this program or speaker Tara Rolstad to your church, click HERE to contact us today!

Download this flyer you can print and share:

Shattering Stigma Flyer