Episode 016: Mental Health and the Local Church

As we launch the second season of the Essential Church Podcast, we sat down with Kay Warren and Tommy Hilliker to talk about the Church’s role in serving those facing mental illness.

 

One study showed that 71% percent of clergy do not feel prepared or equipped to handle a mental health crisis… it’s not really talked about in Bible college or seminary…

 

Reducing the stigma starts with the value: What are we going to be known for in our community as a church? At Saddleback, we want to be known as a church that cares…

 

Half of all mental illness shows signs by the age of 14 and 75% by age 24… so when parents are looking at their kids and they notice behavior changes, they need to pay attention to that…

 

In the church we’ve been too quick to call those behavior problems or blame the parents, and all that does is perpetuate the shame…

 

When it comes to suicide prevention, parents are terrified that if they bring it up with their kids for fear that they will plant the idea in their child’s mine… that has actually proven not to be the case… when you actually ask the question, kids are usually relieved…

 

We’re not usually very good at helping our kids articulate their feelings… make a list of “feeling words” and give them to your kids…

 

It’s almost like mining for gold with your kids… we have to work hard to help them talk about their emotions and feelings…

 

We don’t wait until people are in stage 4 cancer to help people… the earlier we address mental illness, the better…

 

 

QUESTIONS FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM

1 – Do you and your team feel prepared to help people struggling with mental illness? Why or why not?

2 – To what extent is the culture of your team, church, or family safe for people to admit their mental health struggles?

3 – What can you do to better equip yourself, your team, and your church to identify mental illness when it manifests and lend a helping hand?

 

RESOURCES

National Alliance on Mental Illness – https://www.nami.org/

Mental Health First Aid – https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/

http://kaywarren.com/

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