Mental Health & the Bible
Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. (46.6 million) experiences mental illness each year. Statistically, a minister is the number-one place people go when they seek help for mental illness. Many times, those leaders are not always equipped to handle every situation. Thankfully, the Church is bigger than one organization or body of believers. God has gifted many people, many who are not a part of Eleven Sixteen Church, to help
those dealing with mental health. Below you will find resources:
Eleven Sixteen Church Pastors. The pastors at Eleven Sixteen Church are available to listen and provide initial guidance and resources including an offer to pray with you. Pastoral counseling is biblical based, so there may be situations that go beyond their expertise. In those cases, they can help with referrals.
Schedule A Session: https://1116church.churchcenter.com/people/forms/158058
Overflow. This is a local support group that is dedicated to pouring hope into life by promoting mental health awareness and suicide prevention, as well as providing mental health education. Mental health support groups are meeting virtually each month.
Faithful Counseling. This organization provides licensed counseling using their computer, tablet or mobile phone—through video calls, phone calls, or text messaging. If you are seeking a mental health professional who is a practicing Christian, Faithful Counseling may be a great option for you. Faithful Counseling costs about $65 per week and financial aid is available for those who qualify. You can even apply for financial aid during the signup process.
Mental Health Grace Alliance. This organization is a multi-faceted, Christ-centered resource for people with mental illness and their families. The focus is on recovery and living well with a mental health challenge. They provide support groups for people with mental illness and their families, coaching for people who are working toward recovery from a mental health crisis, and training for leaders.
Healing Care Ministries. This organization was founded by Terry Wardle had planted one of the fastest growing churches in the United States. Because of external pressure he spiraled into a debilitating breakdown that landed him in a psychiatric facility. He began to interweave what he learned from the behavioral sciences with practices of Christian spirituality. Today they offer counseling, blogs, videos, virtual community, and training for leaders and caregivers.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). “America's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness,” NAMI provides information, advocacy, support groups, referrals, and more. While not a faith-based organization, NAMI exists in part to provide the kind of support churches and their leaders need.
National Institute of Mental Health. This federal government agency’s site is packed with information about mental health and specific mental disorders, mental health research, and links to more resources.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Mental Health/Drug Treatment National Hotline
Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
Fort Gordon Chaplin’s Offices
Center Chaplain’s Office, Bldg 29601, Call 706-791-5653
Family Life Center and Chaplain, Bldg 28414, Call 706-791-1732
(Book) Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness.
This book by Dr. Matthew Stanford (Biblica Publishing, 2008), a neuroscientist, a researcher, and a leader with a passion for seeing the church do great ministry among people affected by mental illness, presents detailed information about various types of disorders, with biblical perspective on each.
(Book) Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission. This is a book by Amy Simpson (InterVarsity Press, 2013), who grew up in a family profoundly affected by schizophrenia. It contains stories of individuals and families touched by mental illness, helps readers understand some of the challenges they face, and calls the church to fulfill its mission and extend Christ’s love specifically to people who live with mental illness and often feel marginalized and rejected.
(Training) American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC). AACC is committed to assisting Christian counselors, the entire “community of care,” licensed professionals, pastors, and lay church members with little or no formal training. It is our intention to equip clinical, pastoral, and lay care-givers with biblical truth and psychosocial insights that minister to hurting persons and helps them move to personal wholeness, interpersonal competence, mental stability, and spiritual maturity.
(Training) Pathways to Promise. A broadly faith-based resource that exists “to facilitate the faith community’s work in reaching out to those with mental illnesses and their families.” They offer information and resources to equip people to help serve others.
(Training) Fresh Hope. This organization was founded by Pastor Brad Hoefs, who lives with bipolar disorder. He understands both the challenges of ministry and the difficulty of living with serious mental illness. This is a Christ-centered support group ministry that equips churches to establish peer support for people who have mental illness and their loved ones.