Saga: What We Do
We believe Saga's work will enable pastors and church leaders to navigate the overlap between pastoral ministry and clinical therapy effectively, with compassion and care. We believe that our work with churches will open the door for many individuals within the church and in the larger community to access effective mental health care. We have evaluated the need, and have become convinced that our partnership model, working closely with local churches and local mental health professionals, will provide the means to offer support and care to countless members of our community who are in need.
Saga grew out of a deep concern for the people of our community, including our Christian community, who are dying from mental illness, addiction, and suicide. Saga is committed to providing support and care for the whole person, in even the most difficult circumstance.
Saga provides concrete, God-honoring, non-denominational support for individuals, churches, and church ministry professionals. Saga does not advocate for particular denominational doctrines. Saga supports the development of a culture within Christian churches that rejects the shame and stigma often associated with mental illness.
Saga provides research-based strategies and educational materials that are consistent with Christian faith. Some resources and training target mental health professionals, and provide the tools to work with individuals and families that live a faith-based life. Mental health practitioners who are also people of faith are central to Saga's operations.
Saga works with individuals and families facing a wide variety of challenges. Trauma, adverse childhood experiences, addiction, alcoholism, depression, and other mental illnesses are Saga's primary focus. However, Saga also provides support for individuals and families who may be wrestling with various issues that do not fall under the umbrella of mental illness. Saga provides compassionate care for individuals and families struggling with such issues as identity, intergenerational family issues, the transition to adulthood, and marriage and family challenges.
The Church-Saga Partnership
At Saga, we recognize that pastors and ministry leaders face unique challenges. Often, pastors labor in their ministries with little support. Pastors, church leaders and their families can face demanding, unrealistic expectations. Seen as more-than-human, ministry leaders and their families may be reluctant to reveal their human struggles, as their livelihoods, families, and even identities depend upon maintaining these unfair expectations. Saga professionals work confidentially with pastors and church leaders, to provide support and care in the face of these challenges.
The partnership between the Saga Center and the local church provides more than just support for the church's ministry to its members. Because Saga provides a direct connection to licensed mental health professionals, the Church is protected from liability that can result from the overlap of pastoral care and mental health care. The clear division of responsibilities, the training, and the resources are all intended to help the church minister effectively to its members, while also providing a mechanism to connect individuals in need with professional support and a pathway.