Mental Health

These links are provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only.  The Congregational Church of Topsfield cannot guarantee the accuracy or the completeness of the information and materials contained in these websites. Please conduct your own due diligence and consult professional advice when making important decisions.


The UCC MENTAL HEALTH NETWORK'S MISSION is to reduce stigma and facilitate inclusion of people with mental health conditions and their families into the life, leadership and work of the church;  Check out this link:   

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Need Assistance? Call 1-800-334-9427

These guides have been created to help people learn more about care options for seniors with Alzheimer's or dementia. Watching a loved one go through memory loss and cognitive decline is difficult.  These free resources may help support seniors and their families.


NAMI MASS home page:

NAMI News You Can Use

NAMI Ask the Expert: Navigating the Winter & Holiday Blues


When: Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, 4 p.m. ET 

Click here to register

NAMI Ask the Expert welcomes Dr. Christine Crawford, Associate Medical Director at NAMI, who will provide an overview of the various stressors that people can experience over the winter months.

She will discuss symptoms that people can experience secondary to Seasonal Affective Disorder, as well as challenges that people can face over the course of the holiday season. Dr. Crawford will review strategies that people can use as they navigate the winter months in order to mitigate their stress during this period of time.

After the presentation, NAMI’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ken Duckworth will moderate a Q&A session.


Speaker: Dr. Christine M. Crawford, NAMI Associate Medical Director, and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and the Associate Director of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine.

VALIDATION-according to the American Psychiatric Association definition, is (n) the process of establishing the truth or logical cogency of something, (v-validate) mirroring someone's judgment or experience.  While validation is used in some forms of psychotherapy, it can be an avenue of respectful communication in everyday life.  Many of us grew up with a different kind of respect for our elders elicited by fear or power rather than respect.  If we didn't experience validation growing up, it may be surprising that validating another person can break down barriers and increase effective communication. 


In the following video, two facilitators elaborate on how it not only can help families with a member struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder, as well as all relationships.  There are various aspects of validation, such as when it's effective or not; further information can be gleaned from looking up Dialectical Behavior Therapy by Marsha Linehan. 

VIDEO: "Live a Skillful Life Webinar: Validation. Am I doing it right?"

Click here to watch, then enter this passcode: NeaBPD11!  (This link will expire at the end of December 2021.), a website for families concerned about their child's

mental health here. (From Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Mental Health.)


PSYCHOSIS-What is it?

The word psychosis is used to describe conditions that affect the mind, where there has been some loss of contact with reality. When someone becomes ill in this way it is called a psychotic episode. During a period of psychosis, a person’s thoughts and perceptions are disturbed and the individual may have difficulty understanding what is real and what is not.  Symptoms of psychosis include delusions (false beliefs) and hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that others do not see or hear). Other symptoms include incoherent or nonsense speech, and behavior that is inappropriate for the situation. A person in a psychotic episode may also experience depression, anxiety, sleep problems, social withdrawal, lack of motivation, and difficulty functioning overall. 

For more information about psychosis, please visit the Questions & Answers page:

Did you know that a 'first episode psychosis' can happen to almost anyone?   While an unknown predisposition may exist, life's circumstances may impact a person in such as way as to cause it.  If you know of someone experiencing psychotic behaviors for the first time, especially teenage to 30+, it's very important to get treatment immediately.   Admission to a First Episode Psychosis program, a multi-disciplinary approach, is recommended for the best outcome.  We are fortunate to have the following in the Boston area:

WRAP at Boston Medical Center:

RISE at Cambridge Health Alliance:


Other programs may be found here:

This information is attributed by the social justice committee of the Board of Mission and Outreach and/or regarding any questions, contact Jackie Cassiday at