Mental illness is an epidemic in churches. According to one study, mental illness is almost as common among Christians as it is among the general population. Only our faith appears to be keeping us from falling over the edge.
How Churches can Help with Mental Health and Spiritual Well-Being?
The intertwining of so many stressors and triggers—like financial strain, job insecurity, housing instability, and natural disasters—makes us more susceptible to mental health problems than ever before. And unfortunately, many churches unintentionally make things even worse by placing so much emphasis on spirituality above all else.
With so many unhealthy pressures placed on the importance of spiritual purity, sobriety and obedience above all other considerations, people with mental illness feel even less equipped to open up about their struggles or find support from fellow church members.
By Providing Diversions and Activities
While churches can’t magically cure all mental illnesses, they can provide activities that help people cope with their symptoms.
This can include gardening or other projects that encourage mindfulness and self-care, as well as group activities and exercises that promote socialization and connection.
Providing Counseling Services
Churches can also offer counseling services, either in-house or by referring members to outside services. Counselors are specially trained to help people work through their mental health symptoms and figure out ways to manage them.