Church Assistance Program

The Church Assistance Program is a contract service of Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services that brings confidential, professional, Christian counseling and education resources to the local church. The program encourages parishioners to deal with the stresses of personal, family, or work-related problems as early as possible and to seek competent help in times of crisis. Our counselors (licensed psychologists and masters level therapists) provide telephone, face-to-face, and referral services.

Pine Rest's Church Assistance Program is an initial assessment and preventive program. It gives parishioners an avenue to get help with a wide variety of concerns and is a valuable addition to a church's pastoral care.

New News

Being pregnant and having a newborn baby are often blessed times.  But, what about when they are not?  What can a new mom or dad do and where can they go for help?  Pine Rest has a new program to help new moms and pregnant women who are struggling with anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. Our Mother and Baby Program is a day program that allows women who are pregnant or postpartum to get treatment along with their babies. It is one of only two such specialty programs in all of the United States!  The program is a more intensive program when meeting with a therapist 1x a week is not enough. 

The program runs Monday through Friday from 9:00am until 3:30pm. While in the program, women are offered group therapy, individual time with a therapist and a psychiatrist, and attend classes on topics such as relationships, coping skills, medication, anger management, relationships, nutrition, body image, bonding with baby, and many more. The program teaches skills to manage scary thoughts, deal with worries and anxieties, and helps plan for continued healing. On average, women receive treatment for 5-7 days.  

For more information, visit  [Please note: While participation in the full program is not covered by your Assistance Benefit, it is often covered by traditional health insurance and there are expert clinicians in the Pine Rest system who have specialty training in Perinatal Mood Disorders and those outpatient visits are covered by your benefit!]

Telephone Hotline and Consultation
Parishioners call the Hotline telephone number provided 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week. This separate, private telephone line will connect them to a Pine Rest staff. They need only to identify their church.  They also may call their local clinic to schedule an appointment without first calling the Hotline.

The caller will be contacted by a counselor as soon as possible. This professional can help identify a wide variety of problems and offer practical steps for the caller to take.

Face-To-Face Consultation
If a telephone call is not adequate to help resolve the problem, parishioners may meet with a therapist personally. An appointment will be scheduled as soon as possible, usually within 48 hours. For each problem that occurs, two sessions are available.

Referral Service
Some problems require further help. If necessary, the counselor will suggest other qualified resources. Pine Rest professionals draw on their network of referral relationships with child, adolescent, and adult services in the community or in the Pine Rest system.

Typical Problems Addressed

  • Marital Difficulties
  • Family Stress
  • Peer/Dating Struggles
  • Depression
  • Grief or Loss
  • Anger
  • Financial Hardship
  • Vocational Stress
  • substance abuse/addictions
  • Self-Esteem Issues
  • Aging
  • Emotional Distress
  • Information Requests


Church family members, those in their households, and dependent children who may be away from home have 24-hour direct access. There are no gatekeepers, so they have immediate access. In addition, clergy and church leaders can consult with Pine Rest clinicians to gain insight into helping a parishioner.

All contacts are strictly confidential. Pine Rest will not release names or specific details without the parishioner's permission. Pine Rest holds your privacy in highest regard.

Pine Rest will send quarterly and year-end reports indicating the number of contacts and general nature of the problems discussed (no specifics).

Educational Services
The church receives periodic materials on mental health that will educate and remind parishioners to use the Church Assistance Program. Churches also gain access to a wealth of educational materials available on request.

A church enters this contract relationship with Pine Rest on a yearly basis. For a reasonable fee, clergy and parishioners gain access to the services included in the Church Assistance Program option the church chooses.

Services for Churches

To learn more about Pine Rest's Church Assistance Program and other services Pine Rest offers to the churches and faith organizations, contact Bob VandePol at (616) 281-6305.

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