Mental health series
Created by Mary Elder, United Methodist Church, Fredericktown, OH in collaboration with the Circle of Congregations and All Belong Center for Inclusive Education with support from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.
Blessings as you lead this series! Collaborators on this project with a variety of backgrounds and experiences with persons who have mental health challenges have prayed for this to bring understanding, growth, and healing in your community. From the array of experiences represented by the collaborators, here are a few suggestions for you:
- Rehearse each session before you lead it.
- There will be “curve balls” when people are working through these topics. You don’t want to get into problem solving with individuals. Be willing to offer another time with someone who has much to share. And/or suggest they talk with someone (therapist, counselor, etc.).
- Take note and decide how you will use language in a way that honors those in your community and brings insight where there may be misunderstanding. Answer for yourself these two questions before you launch the series:
- Will you usually use the phrase “mental illness”, or would you say, “mental health challenge”?
- Working with local professionals, consider their expertise, share the video(s) you will use the day they are coming and discuss with them the video content. Honor their expertise and be willing to let go of parts of this plan if it conflicts with something they wish to share.
- Invite people with lived experiences to briefly share their story on any of the Scripture passages or topics you are discussing. You will need to be careful to keep this sharing to about 5 minutes and be ready to enforce that time.
To everyone participating in the series:
This series is aiming to inform and bless the community by addressing some topics that may be uncomfortable for some to hear and talk about. The discussion times are optional (no one has to speak if they do not wish to). This will be a safe place to ask questions. Respectfully keep it safe by honoring everyone as they speak, listening carefully to what they say and how they say it. Commit to keeping these discussions confidential unless you gain permission to share what others have said. Each session is a brief introduction; you may want to follow up with professionals to find out more.
Click on the links below to go to each session’s page of resources.
To download a PDF of the entire series, click HERE: Mental Health Series PDF
The Sessions (1-7)
- Carder, Kenneth L., Ministry with the Forgotten: Dementia through a Spiritual Lens, Abingdon Press, 2019.
- Grcevich, Stephen, M.D., Mental Health and the Church. Grand Rapids, Zondervan Publishing, 2018.
- Swinton, John., Finding Jesus in the Storm: The Spiritual Lives of Christians with mental Health Challenges. Grand Rapids, Eerdmans Publishing, 2020.
- All Belong Center for Inclusive Education: allbelong.org
- Fresh Hope: Find real hope whether you have a mental health challenge or love someone who does: freshhope.us/us
- Key Ministry (Resources for Mental Health Ministry): keyministry.org/resources-for-mental-health-ministry
- MHA (Mental Health America): mhanational.org/
- Mental Health Grace Alliance: An innovative experience integrating science and your faith in Christ to renew your mental and emotional health: mentalhealthgracealliance.org/
- NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness): nami.org/Home
- NAMI FaithNet (Interfaith Resource Network): nami.org/Get-Involved/NAMI-FaithNet
- NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health): nih.gov
- Pathways to Promise: pathways2promise.org/
- The Healing Center: healingcare.org/
- Touchpointe Family Resources: touchpointe.org/