Mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning.  One in five families has a member with a diagnosable mental illness.

The San Rafael Parish Mental Health Ministry partners with the Diocese of San Diego to offer support for families in the parish that are experiencing mental health challenges.  By interfacing with county, local non-profit, and private mental health providers, Catholic families will be introduced to healing professionals and services able to facilitate their healing journeys.

Prayerfully supported by parish lay leaders, and receiving professional care, families strive for wholeness and an end to the stigma that still endures when mental health is challenged.

For more information contact: Rebecca Fontaine at (858)832-8741, or  Val Benya at (858)613-9202 or the Parish Office at (858)487-4314.

Meetings & Events


Community Resources for Older Adults During COVID-19 |

ALZHEIMER’S SUPPORT GROUP | Attending Support and Discussion Groups can be one of the best sources of support.  They can give someone a safe environment to discuss caregiving experiences, learn strategies for coping and gain emotional support.

San Rafael hosts an ongoing group every 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month from 1:00-2:30 p.m. in Meeting Room G of the Pastoral Center.  Groups will range in size from 5 to 10 people.  Every group leader has their own unique style in leading a group.  We encourage you to attend a group at least 2 or 3 times to experience the benefits.  Prior to attending, please call the Support and Discussion Group leader, giving you an opportunity to confirm the meeting, ask the leader questions, and find out if the group may be a good fit.  Our Group Leader will be Arlene Cawthorne, MIC, (858)335-8880. Respite care for your loved one is available on site, provided by trained volunteers, by calling Cheryl Danzl at (858)487-4314, ext. #1227.

For general questions and information contact Rebecca De Campos, MSW (858)966-3303 or Click here for a printable flyer.

NORTH COUNTY PARKINSON’S GROUP | North County Parkinson’s Support Group is sponsoring monthly meetings for persons with Parkinson’s and their caregivers.  Free monthly meetings will occur the first Monday of every month from 10:00 a.m. to 12: 00 p.m. at San Rafael in the Parish Hall.  The first hour features a speaker relating to Parkinson’s and the second half consists of breakout groups of Parkinson’s patients together in one area and caregivers in another area.  There will also be some social time and eats!  Come learn, share, meet, and have a snack with other involved persons. If you have any questions, please call: Brigit King at (858)354-2498 or Carol Maher at (760)749-8234.  NO MEETING ON APRIL 1ST.

DEPRESSION/BIPOLAR SUPPORT GROUP | DBSA, the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance, holds support group meetings here at San Rafael Parish for family and friends of persons with mental health challenges.  The meetings are held in Meeting Rooms A & B in the Pastoral Center from 7:00-9:00 p.m. The support group meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month.  All are welcome.

Mental Health Ministry Committee Meetings:

The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, May 28, 2020, Meeting Room J, San Rafael Pastoral Center Building, 12:00-1:00 p.m. (Please Note: There will be no meeting in November or December. Meetings are subject to change without notice.  Please contact the ministry facilitator for the most current schedule.)

Join our Mailing List

Please submit your name and email address if you would like to be informed of future meetings held at San Rafael Parish.



MENTAL HEALTH MINISTRY NETWORK  | Anyone seeking the service of a Licensed Mental Health Professional affiliated with the San Diego Diocesan Mental Health Ministry Network can visit: Then, click on “Find Affiliated Therapists.”  Therapists interested in affiliating with the San Diego Diocesan Mental Health Ministry Network may visit and click on “CLINICIANS CLICK HERE” to register for a free profile.  Once the profile has been acknowledged by (usually within one or two business days) visit to view and accept the diocesan pledge.


Advocacy Groups

Cons. Ctr for Health, Ed. & Adv. (CCHEA) (877)734-3258  is a community organization dedicated to empowering people suffering from substance abuse addiction with tools and resources to start their personal journey toward recovery. We create and publishes comprehensive, unbiased, free web-based resources that have been featured and is referenced by many governmental agencies and organizations across the web.  You can read more about our research here:

JFS Patient Advocacy Program (800)479-2233

Legal Aid Society of San Diego (877)734-3258

Outpatient Mental Health: CCHEA  (877)734-3258

Crisis Intervention/Information and Referral Services

211 San Diego (24/7) 211

Access & Crisis Line (24/7) (888)724-7240

It’s Up to Us San Diego (24/7) (888)724-7240

Pastoral Center Sexual Abuse Reporting information (858)490-8310

PERT 911


Get Involved | Armed Services YMCA San Diego, CA Branch The Armed Services Y provides free or low-cost youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility programs for junior enlisted military and their families.

Referrals To Diocese approved licensed therapists

Christus Institute Therapy, Charles Farrow, Ph.D. (858)480-1484

Resources by Diagnosis

San Diego Countywide Services

Health and Human Services Agency (858)694-3900

I-HOT (619)961-2120

IHSS – In-Home Support Services (858)694-3900

NAMI – National Alliance on Mental Illness (800)523-5933

RICA: Recovery Innovations (858)274-4650

San Diego County Behavioral Health (858)694-3900


Impacting Young Adults (619)342-7427

Support Group

Alzheimer’s San Diego (858)966-3290

Mental Health Association (619)543-0412

NAMI – National Alliance on Mental Illness (858)485-0703

Next Steps 619-229-2999

Peer to Peer Support, Adult Warm Line (800)930-9276

Peer to Peer Support, Family Warm Line (877)470-5463

Peer to Peer Support, Youth Warm Line (877)450-5463

San Diego Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance
Chula Vista Meetings (619)552-3272 • Escondido Meetings (619)307-5547