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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


Rooted in the shared belief that all human beings are holy and united in dynamic collaboration with faith and spiritual communities and healthcare providers, we strive to ensure that our city meets its moral mandate to foster positive mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual outcomes for all Philadelphians.


Faith and Spiritual Affairs Advisory Board is dedicated to engaging faith 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 healthcare to Philadelphia communities.


  • Eighty percent of the world’s population
    believe in a power greater than themselves
    and call upon that power for healing.
    That communication is called prayer.
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 clergy 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 communities of faith.

One of the more successful trainings utilized in the faith community is Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). Trainings have taken place in churches, mosques, and synagogues giving members of our faith communities additional tools to support individuals in crisis or experiencing behavioral health challenges. Several clergy from the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish community are MHFA instructors.


Annual Faith-Based 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 which may impact individuals. Over the past 10 years, more than 3,000 people from the faith and provider community and individuals with lived experiences have attended the conference. The attendees have had the opportunity to experience workshops presenters who are experts in the field 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:


  • 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 (Manager)
  • Frank A. James III, Ph.D. (Chairman)
  • Jack Trieu (Co-Chair)
  • Carmelo Urena, Ph.D.
  • John K Carlson, MBA, CRS, BAC
  • Rev. Myra Maxwell
  • Pascal Scoles, D.S.W., LCSW.
  • Rabbi Nancy E. Epstein, MPH, MAHL
  • Rabbi Nora Woods
  • Ram A. Cnaan
  • Rev. Dr. Christobal M. Kimmenez, Psy.D.
  • Rev. Fritz Fowler
  • Rev. G. Lamar Stewart Jr.
  • Rev. Jeffery A. Haskins
  • Rev. Naomi Washington-Leapheart
  • Rev. Toneh Williams
  • Rev. Wallace N. Fletcher, Jr.
  • Rev. Yesenia “Jessie” Alejandro