With nearly 20% of adults, teens, and even young children in the U.S. experiencing mental illness, it’s clear that the mental health crisis touches almost every family. Despite affecting so many, access to adequate care and support remains dismal, especially in low-income communities, but it doesn’t need to remain that way.
With the right focus, churches can fill the gap by guiding their communities on how to enact changes that heal emotional pain. Then, through their church mental health programs, they can offer people the support that’s lacking in their lives and lead them down a path of healing.
Churches That Heal is a digital toolkit for designed for pastors and churches have a willingness to help their communities heal.
Ways Churches Can Help Heal Their Communities
With the right church resources on their side, pastors can serve as a dedicated source of support for their members and their communities in the following ways.
1. Serve as a Beacon of Healing for Adults and Kids
When minor to severe mental health symptoms arise, many adults and children do not know where to turn for support. Even while getting care from their doctor, it’s important to have someone to talk to about ongoing stressors and a way to build positive coping skills.
Church resources can give members a place to go when daily life simply feels too overwhelming. Plus, when losses and other major stressors arise, they will know just where to go for help getting through the day. If the mental health symptoms worsen, churches can even direct their members to appropriate care resources, including doctors, therapists, and psychiatrists.
2. Introduce Care Content Through Services
As pastors complete the mental health training series included in the digital toolkit, they learn how to incorporate care content into their services. Then, whether they hold Sunday service only or bring people together in small groups, they can infuse their programs with content that guides people on the path to healing. As they open their hearts, the programs can help provide much-needed perspective and clarity while introducing positive coping skills.
3. Hold Small Group Sessions on a Regular Basis
Although infusing regular programming with mental health care is important, churches can go the extra mile by holding small group sessions. The groups can center around age, mental health concerns, or even skill-building activities to best respond to the needs of the community.
Pastors don’t even have to reinvent the wheel to provide the ultimate level of support. They just need to use the premade small group curriculum, which includes a video series and workbooks for all participants. The leader guide assists the group leader in keeping everyone on the path to healing.
4. Host Community Events Geared for Healing
When churches hold community events, they open the doors for people to walk through the doors in search of a chance at emotional healing. The messages from Dr. Cloud help promote wellness and serve as a great starting point for tough conversations. As the new and returning church members engage with the content, their bonds with the church, pastors, and other members will strengthen in kind. When churches make mental health care a top priority in all they do, everyone benefits. From the pastors and adult members to the children and community at large, the efforts make a big difference in many lives.
5. Where to Get Started with Church Leadership Training
To start the journey toward healing their communities, enroll in Churches That Heal. Dr. Henry Cloud created the program to help link churches and mental health to create a newfound source of support for communities. The digital toolkit for churches includes:
- Church program content
- Video series
- Small group curriculum
- Live webinars
- Monthly emails
The basic program supports churches with up to 10 staff members, although there are other options available for bigger congregations.
It’s time for churches to provide the mental health support their members need, and now they can. Their efforts can pay off by helping communities heal and move forward toward better lives together.