Why your church needs mental health training

Why your church needs mental health training

Why does your church need mental health training?

You might be wondering why training your church about mental health should be a priority, when there are so many other things a church needs. I believe there are 8 good reasons why your church needs it.

  • Mental illness is common. 1 in 6 people at any given time are experiencing some kind of mental health issue. Although it is well known that practising a religion is beneficial to mental health there is still large numbers of people who are part of church communities who will be struggling with their mental health.

  • It is unseen. You might think 1 in 6 seems very high, but that is because poor mental health is not recognised in a lot of cases. People hide how they are feeling inside, or they don’t come to church on their bad days. So unless you know what to look for and how to have conversations about mental health you will miss it.

  • It has serious consequences. Suicide, self-harm, relationship problems, and alcohol and drug misuse are all linked to poor mental health. It also may stop people from attending church and cause them to walk away from their faith.

  • It can happen to anyone. Many people in the bible and prominent Christians throughout history have struggled with mental health issues. It doesn’t matter who you are, what age you are, how much you earn or whether you go to church – anyone can become mentally unwell.

  • Overall awareness of mental health conditions is poor. Although this has improved a lot of the last 5 years there is still a long way to go before the general public’s knowledge of mental health is equivalent to its knowledge of physical health conditions

  • People don’t know how to help. Churches are great communities that love to help those in need. However, people with mental health conditions in church frequently feel that they are not being supported. This is usually because, either no one has spotted that the person is struggling with their mental health, or because they are afraid to say something wrong and make it worse. Our training addresses this and shows you how to encourage and support people with poor mental health in an appropriate and helpful way.

  • Stigma. There is so much stigma around mental illness, both in secular, and Christian circles. In our training we explore these and look at what the bible has to say about mental illness and how we can respond in a loving way.

  • Outreach. In our communities there are many people battling poor mental health and loneliness. We can reach out to them and help them find loving church communities that know how to support them in their time of need.

So as you can see, mental health should be a priority for churches as it helps us to care for the vulnerable, encourage spiritual growth and serve our communities. Our training is built on our SEES model to help you Spot, Engage, Encourage and Support people with mental health needs.

Access more details about our training or get in touch if you have any questions.