Faith communities are often the first places individuals and families turn to when faced with the challenges of mental illness, especially during a crisis. Churches have unique opportunities to minister, not only in times of acute struggle, but in the daily hurdles as well.
A 2018 LifeWay Research study found most pastors, family members and those living with acute mental illnesses agree that local churches have a responsibility to provide resources and support for these individuals and their families. But, knowing how to serve them in ways that truly bless them and affirm their value can be a challenge.
Thankfully, there are many resources that can help churches become more aware of mental illnesses and how to minister to those who struggle with these conditions. The following books and websites provide information and tools to help churches welcome those who deal with mental health challenges and provide practical assistance.
Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission by Amy Simpson
Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness by Matthew S. Stanford
Mental Health and the Church: A Ministry Handbook for Including Children and Adults with ADHD, Anxiety, Mood Disorders, and Other Common Mental Health Conditions by Stephen Grcevich
Toward a Theology of Psychological Disorder by Marcia Webb
Darkness Is My Only Companion: A Christian Response to Mental Illness by Kathryn Greene-McCreight
31 Days, 31 Ways 2 Pray 4 Families and Sparks of Redemptive Grace by Catherine P. Downing
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
Our organization can also be a great resource for your church. As the only faith-based ministry in the Dallas Metroplex exclusively serving adults with severe mental illnesses, we have a unique understanding of the role of faith and mental health medical conditions. We reach out to area churches to help them better understand mental illnesses and ways to minister. Our blogs contain information and practical tips on numerous topics related to mental health and we regularly share resources from others on Facebook and Twitter.
A great way to help church members learn firsthand how mental health struggles impact people in the community is to bring a group to volunteer with us. There are many ways your members can make a lasting impact in the lives of our members—and visa versa.
In addition, we would love to give a presentation to your congregation or leaders about the facts on mental illness, the role of faith and opportunities for ministry. We can also suggest sermon ideas that help address the stigma and fear that often surround mental health struggles. Please contact us to learn more about how The Well Community can partner with your church community in its efforts to serve and welcome those dealing with mental health challenges.
Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn more about The Well, mental illnesses and how you can make a difference in the lives of those who live with these conditions.