Mental Health Series Session 1

Mental Health: Conversation & Education

Session 1: Mental Health (opening session)

This page is part of a larger series titled Mental Health: Conversations & Education.  To see the full list of topics, and to download the entire series as a PDF, visit the Mental Health Series page.



Topic: Introduction to the conversation around mental health


Video: Break the Stigma (2:17) by TN Dept. of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services

(Optional) Video: The Basics of Mental Health (3:45) by Crossroads Church

Handouts / Q & A

Talk about the opening video and contents of the handout(s). Have a mental health professional take a few general questions.

Discussion Time

Video: Dr. John Swinton on mental health support from churches (5:06)


Discussion Questions:

  1. What do we have “thin” descriptions of that we need to learn more about? (Go around the group and allow people to say a topic or two they want to learn more about in the coming weeks, based on the list of what you have planned).
  2. What is our motivation to go through this series? (Allow everyone, if they wish, to share in a word or two a relationship or key reason they are coming to learn and discuss these areas)
  3. What is one thing we each want to gain from this series? (Or 2 things, maybe 3, but keep to no more than 3 for the purpose of this discussion)

Scripture: John 9:1-5, The Message


Puzzle Piece Perspective:  Puzzle Piece animation video (3:15)

Using this brief video, discuss how this perspective might shape the conversations about mental health challenges in this series.


Thought to take with you: Jesus says the question is not “Why?” or “Who’s to blame?” but rather, “What does God want me to do in order that his power and purpose can be seen in this situation?” (from Study Guide, p.4)


(Optional) Discussion Question: What did you learn about people with mental illness as you grew up? (From family, school, church, media…) From all those messages and experiences, what beliefs did you form about people who have mental health challenges? (Adapted from Study Guide, p.5)


Prayer: Lord, thank you for the opportunity to start talking about a topic that is hard to talk about. Some of us might secretly be dealing with it, and it’s lonely, Lord. Help us learn what it is that you want to teach us in order that we might learn to care for those among us and their families who experience mental health challenges. Grant us your grace to respond with compassion. Amen. (from Study Guide, p.6)