Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Richard Walsh-Bowers

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Mental health consumer/survivors living in urban poverty are generally marginalized and devalued by society. To aid in the process of recovery they require a holistic form of treatment to meet their physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs. The current exploratory study investigated the role of a pastor as part of a multidisciplinary team engaged in mental health outreach work and the impacts of this role for people experiencing urban homelessness. Multiple qualitative methods were used to collect data from different stakeholder groups. From multiple participant perspectives, the findings indicate that there are many unique spiritual, relational, and moral aspects of an outreach minister’s role. The unique roles of the outreach minister occur within the context of client needs and translate into various responses which positively impact program consumers. The outreach minister responds to client needs affectively, spiritually, instrumentally, and through mental health problem-solving. The findings indicate that the unique spiritual, relational, and moral characteristics of an outreach minister’s role within a multidisciplinary team potentially entail significant benefits for consumer/survivors experiencing urban poverty. Limitations include the context specific nature of a qualitative case study, which restricts the degree that the findings can be transferred and applied to other settings. Additionally, due to the temporal constraints of the project the time spent in the field was moderate and consultations with program consumers were not possible during the planning and data collection phases. Implication involve the potential to create a framework for developing a holistic model of care which integrates faith and spirituality into mental health outreach teams in other settings.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Psychology Commons