Make a difference in the fight against mental health issues with a community program

How to Start and Run a Mental Health Education Program

March 28, 2023

The US is currently in the midst of a mental health crisis. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, 1 in 5 people experienced symptoms of a mental illness in 2019.[i] Currently, there is a shortage of mental health professionals in the US.[ii] The gap between need and access continues to exist, especially in rural areas and in lower-income households.

You might be reading this and wondering how you can help. Many people who are interested in helping others who struggle with symptoms of depression and anxiety—or other mental health issues—might think that an advanced degree is required. But alternatives exist.

Community mental health education programs help people connect with resources in their community in order to address their symptoms and find a solution. The Nedley Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program™ (NDARP) is a community program that is offered across the globe by volunteers just like you who have recognized the opportunity to make a difference.

By undergoing training with the NDARP, you will be equipped with all the tools necessary to run a successful program.

What is the Nedley Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program™?

The Nedley Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program™ is a holistic mental health education program that uses the latest evidence-based information to help participants lead healthy, happy lives.

The NDARP is an eight-week community mental health education program designed to improve mental performance, promote a healthier lifestyle, and enhance the mind with a holistic approach.

The community NDARP determines the exact cause of mental health issues and focuses on improving people by emphasizing techniques that address both thoughts and behaviors, including: 

1. Lifestyle therapies 

Exercise, light exposure, water intake, hydrotherapy, and sleep practices are a few of the many lifestyle therapies offered. 

2. Nutrition

A key component in mitigating symptoms of depression and anxiety is nutrition. Our focus is eliminating heavily refined or processed foods and cholesterol, incorporating carbohydrate-rich foods, eating plentiful amounts of foods rich in brain-enhancing nutrients, such as the amino acids tryptophan and tyrosine, plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and magnesium, and eating a whole food, plant-based diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

3. Thinking patterns and behaviors 

Through principles of cognitive behavioral therapy, our program seeks to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, adjust thought patterns, foster healthier behaviors, encourage techniques to overcome stress without distress, and grow from loss in productive ways. 

Who You Will be Helping 

Although our program is directed at those who are suffering from depression and anxiety, anyone can benefit from the principles of this program. Loved ones, spouses, family members, support members, and anyone else who is close to the participant can learn more about their ailments and how to help them.

With the community NDARP, participants with the following conditions have been helped:

  • Depression disorders: Major depression, situational depression, dysthymia (a mild but long-term form of depression), and bipolar depression.
  • Anxiety disorders: Generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety or social appearance anxiety, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • Many other disorders: Phobias, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), addiction disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and many others.

The Role You Will Play

The community mental health education program is offered across the globe by volunteers just like you who have recognized the opportunity to make a difference. If you don't have years to spend training to become a mental health therapist, you can make a difference now with this program.

Through our certification you will: 

  • Have the confidence and basic tools to help those suffering from depression and anxiety
  • Have the tools needed to begin coaching others to understand and manage their emotions
  • Learn the key elements of how to make permanent lifestyle changes
  • Be equipped to teach depressed and anxious people simple coping skills
  • Guide others in recognizing distorted thoughts by understanding cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Lead others in recovery and growth after suffering loss or trauma
  • Be able to implement the NDARP in your home, church, organization, or community

After training is complete, you will play one of two roles:

  • Associate Director: In this role, you will be responsible for organizing and executing the program. You will lead facilitators and program volunteers by using the resources and guidelines provided by Nedley Health. You will ensure accountability by encouraging participants to follow program activities at home.
  • Facilitator: In this role, you will be responsible for guiding weekly small group discussions after the lecture content.

Complete Your Certification 

To lead a community mental health education program, you will need to complete self-paced online modules that take approximately 16 hours to complete. The entire certification training must be completed within 30 days. If you cannot finish the training within 30 days, you may contact our office to purchase a two-week extension for a fee of $10. 

Your program materials and training certificate will be shipped once you have completed your training. If you currently work in a related field, 1.6 continuing education unit (CEU) credits, or 16 credit hours, are available through this training program for an additional fee of $50.00 USD.

Build Your Team 

For community programs, you will need certified program staff. You will need:

  • One certified associate director per program
  • One certified facilitator per 15 program participants

It is recommended that two certified facilitators are present for every 15 participants to encourage the best group dynamics.

Private, Small Group Sessions

For small, private groups where no advertising is used, certified associate directors can run a program that has five or fewer participants. For these small groups of five or fewer participants, you are not required to have a facilitator.

If you choose to lead a volunteer-ran program from home, you will receive all of the necessary training and materials to do so. This “home version” of the program works best in a very small, casual setting. You can also meet with individuals one-on-one to go through the program together.

Understand Pricing Models 

In your training, you will be given all of the necessary tools to help you set your program pricing and ensure that your participants get the best price possible. The pricing model allows for you—the program's volunteer associate director—to have some flexibility depending on the associated costs required to offer your program.


  • Pricing for each full participant to attend ranges from $100-$200.
  • Companion participants are permitted to share certain materials and thereby attend at a reduced price.

Participants are informed of the cost of your program at the free introductory session and can pay for their materials at that time or before the first session. 

Set Up a Program Location

One of the greatest benefits of the NDARP is that you can bring healing to almost any venue where you feel your group will be most comfortable. This could be your home, church, library, or community event center. Once you decide on a place, all you have to do is choose a date and start planning. 

Start Changing Lives With the Nedley Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program™

Once you have everything set up, it’s time to do what you came here to do: change lives. Get the word out and start seeing the difference one program can have on a community.

With the Nedley Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program™, you will be equipped with all the tools necessary to run a successful mental health community education program.


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[i]  SAMHSA, C. for B. H. S. and Q. (n.d.). Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health

[ii] Weiner, S., & Writer, S. S. (2022). A growing psychiatrist shortage and an enormous demand for mental health services. AAMC.

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