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Welcome to the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities Services

Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services

Faith and Spiritual Affairs

Faith and Spiritual Affairs

Faith and Spiritual Affairs Advisory Board is dedicated to engaging faith-based and spiritual communities about behavioral health wellness supports and services and reducing the stigma associated with behavioral health concerns.

By collaborating and advocating with faith and spiritual communities, City agencies, and stakeholders, DBHIDS will enhance ways to provide health care to Philadelphia communities.

About Faith and Spiritual Affairs (FSA)

FSA utilizes the public health approach to educate communities of faith with evidence-based trainings, workshops, and conferences with a focus on educating communities of faith on signs and symptoms of behavioral health issues along with local behavioral health resources and programs.

The success of FSA in the community is due largely to the diversity and support of the FSA advisory board, which is comprised of members from diverse religions as well as agnostics, academics, providers, and representatives of grassroots organizations who are committed to opening their doors to DBHIDS staff and stakeholders to provide supports to their communities.

2024 Faith and Spiritual Affairs Conference

The 17th annual Faith and Spiritual Affairs Conference will take place April 25.

This year’s theme is “Rising Above: Empowering Youth to Heal from Trauma and Violence.”

This conference will delve into the critical issues of youth, trauma, and violence, aiming to equip younger Philadelphians with tangible tools to overcome their challenges. We seek presenters who will empower and support our young generation.

Our goal is to provide attendees with practical, actionable insights and tools for managing and overcoming trauma, seeking help in violent situations, and promoting personal and environmental de-escalation.

If you are passionate about helping and are well-versed in any of these topics, we encourage you to submit your proposal to be a presenter at this transformative event. We look forward to your engaging, informative, and spiritually uplifting presentations.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Trauma resilience: Strategies for young individuals to build resilience and cope with various forms of trauma.
  • Seeking help: How to identify and reach out to support networks, professionals, and resources when experiencing violence or trauma.
  • De-escalation techniques: Practical methods for de-escalating tense situations and environments, promoting peace, and avoiding violence.
  • Healing through faith: Exploring the role of faith and spirituality in the healing process, and how faith and spirituality can provide comfort and guidance.
  • Mindfulness and self-care: Techniques to help youth practice self-care, manage stress, and maintain emotional well-being.
  • Mentorship and role models: The impact of positive role models and mentors in helping youth navigate trauma and violence.
  • Community and social support: The importance of a supportive community in healing and overcoming adversity.

For more information, email DBHIDS-FSA@phila.gov.

Click to submit a conference proposal.

Annual Conference

The annual Faith and Spiritual Affairs conference is an example of a successful model of bringing awareness, education, and resolution to the community on issues and challenges that may impact individuals.

More than 3,000 people from the faith and provider community and individuals with lived experiences have attended the conference since it started in the 2000s. The attendees have had the opportunity to experience workshops from presenters who are experts in the fields of trauma, behavioral health services, incarceration, re-entry, children’s services, intellectual disabilities, HIV/AIDS, violence reduction, and services for the aging.


Using a population health approach, FSA collaborates with faith and spiritual organizations, city agencies, providers, stakeholders, people of faith, and others to develop and implement ways to improve behavioral health and overall wellness within communities.

Some of the ways FSA accomplishes this is by providing:

  • Trauma-informed training such as Spiritual First Aid
  • Evidence-based trainings
  • Educational workshops
  • An annual conference
  • Behavioral health resources and programs
  • Virtual outreach
  • Healing & Hope Series

For more information on FSA and upcoming events, please contact Samantha Grannum at Samantha.Grannum@Phila.gov

FSA Advisory Board

Advisory Board Statement on COVID-19 Vaccine

Advisory Board Members

Samantha Grannum (Program Lead)
Jack Trieu
Carmelo Urena, Ph.D.
John K Carlson, MBA, CRS, BAC
Rev. Myra Maxwell
Ram A. Cnaan
Rev. Dr. Christobal M. Kimmenez, Psy.D.
Rev. G. Lamar Stewart Jr.
Rev. Naomi Washington-Leapheart
Rev. Toneh Williams
Zachary Green
Rev. Dr. Dolores Littleton

Last modified: Jul 16, 2024 @ 9:20 am