Mental health resources for pastors leading mental health ministries within their churches
The struggles with mental illness are deep and complex. Here are seven things Christian leaders need to understand about mental illness to best support their church members and their families.
Empower yourself by learning how to create a safe environment for those struggling with mental illness in the FREE 2- hour online video training with Dr. Matthew Stanford. This free course will equip you with the techniques for identifying mental illness, developing safe and effective situational responses, building a network to quickly connect those in distress with professional care, and starting the conversation about mental health in your faith community.
5 audio presentations provide information and resources for congregations and church workers to help families navigate mental health issues.
Talking about mental illness can be a taboo subject in the church, because people often shy away from what they don’t understand or deny that it even exists. However, it is imperative that the church becomes prepared to care for and love those in our community with mental health challenges. Individuals often turn to leaders and members of the church first for assistance and we must be ready to meet their needs.
At the heart of the Church lies the commission to share one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), care for the interests of others (Philippians 2:4), encourage the disheartened and gently help restore those who are weak (1 Thessalonians 5:14, Isaiah 35:3, Romans 15:1). Most of all, we have a hope that supersedes our earthly circumstances. We have the hope of Christ, whose eternal promises outweigh the sufferings of this world. For these reasons, the Church is not only on the front lines of the mental health crisis but is in the perfect position to foster hope and healing. This article explores 5 practical ways the Church can be a better place of support for those living with the experience of a mental diagnosis.
This article, written by Casey Pruet from Mental Health Grace Alliance, covers three important questions regarding the current state of mental health in our country: 1) What story do current statistics on mental health tell us? 2) How has COVID-19 affected our mental health? 3) Where does the Church come into the story? Click here to learn more about the unique opportunity the Church has to walk alongside people through not just spiritual struggles, but also mental and emotional struggles.
In this article, Dr. Stephen Grcevich explains seven practical ways churches can begin to implement mental health ministry initiatives which can help break down the stigma of mental illness in congregations and lead to help, hope, and healing.
Speaking from personal experience, the author of this article from Church Leaders covers 4 things you should know about your friends and family who are Christians with anxiety, including hoe the Gospel helps sustain hope in times of struggle.
In this article from Church Leaders, the author shares his personal experience as a Christian living with depression and discusses the necessity of the Church addressing mental health issues from the pulpit.
On the average Sunday morning a congregant may hear a sermon on being kind to strangers or a story about Jesus from the gospels, but how many sermons have you heard on mental health or suicide? Most likely none. And yet, the national suicide rate has increased 33 percent between 1999 and 2017. This is a public health crisis.
This article from Grace Alliance gives 5 ways churches can support individuals recently diagnosed with anxiety, depression, or other mental health condition.
Church pastors and staffers, be courageous enough to talk about depression, and assure those in your congregations and communities that this Jesus we preach and teach about has real hope to offer, hope that is often found within the skill sets of counselors, doctors, and psychiatrists who have spent a lifetime preparing to help people. It is also found in the friendship and nurture of the church family.
Specific strategies for churches seeking to serve and welcome kids (and adults) with depression and their families.
A handbook created by NACoA’s Clergy Education and Training Project® for SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention providing basic information on alcoholism and addiction, the impact of parental addiction on children, facts about adolescent alcohol and drug use, and prevention strategies.
I was addicted to drugs at 18 years old. I started developing an addiction at 14 and had a daily habit by 15. When I was 18, I began working for a guy at a mall kiosk who was a Christian. Through many conversations, he would seek to convince me why Christianity was true. For a year, I was very hostile to the conversations. At a time when I was very depressed and wanted some kind of relief, I finally, readily agreed to read the Bible. He suggested that I read Matthew because it was the first book of the New Testament. So I read it, God opened my eyes to his saving grace, and I became a Christian.
The church has been stepping in at this time of crisis, and we need even more of that as we battle a national illness that has no simple remedy. This article discusses how church planting is one key to attacking the problem of addiction. Click here to read article.
This new resource, informed by faith community leaders and suicide prevention experts, aims to help equip faith leaders with the capabilities needed to prevent suicide and provide care and comfort for those affected by suicide.
A brief guide for faith community leaders and other community leaders that provides background information, suggests ways to care for and support survivors, and offers recommendations for planning a memorial observance.
Key steps to take to help someone who may be at risk for suicide.
In this article from The Christian Post, a former ER doctor describes three practical approaches the Church can take to help prevent suicides: Top Down, Bottom Up, and Peer to Peer.
A handy booklet from the Institute for Collective Trauma and Growth
This resource contains liturgy examples, steps and ideas, tips for practical ways of doing trauma informed care, a glossary, and 2 videos.
"Navigating a Mental Health Crisis: A NAMI Resource Guide for Those Experiencing a Mental Health Emergency" (Crisis Guide) provides important, potentially life-saving information for people experiencing mental health crises and their loved ones. This guide outlines what can contribute to a crisis, warning signs that a crisis is emerging, strategies to help de-escalate a crisis, available resources and so much more.
This free guidebook from Mental Health Grace Alliance helps ministry leaders (1) discover the need for mental health ministry in the Church, (2) learn how the Church can help reduce stigma related to mental illness, and (3) build a more caring culture to open the door for conversations in the Church about mental wellness. Free samples of Grace Alliance’s mental health workbooks are included in this guidebook.