Mental Health Ministries


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Anxiety Disorders: Overcoming the Fear

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Anxiety Disorders: Overcoming the FearEveryone experiences anxiety. However, when feelings of intense fear and distress are overwhelming and prevent us from doing everyday things, an anxiety disorder may be the cause. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in the United States. An estimated 40 million adults in the U.S., or 18%, have an anxiety disorder. Approximately 8% of children and teenagers experience the negative impact of an anxiety disorder at school and at home.

These disorders are much more than the stress that results from the fast pace of life today.  Often the feeling of panic, fear or physical discomfort arises without warning.  People with an anxiety disorder may understand that their reactions aren’t logical, but they cannot control them.  There is a high success rate by treating the symptoms of anxiety with medication and therapy.

Clergy Self-Care: How Clergy and Congregations Can Prevent Burnout and Support Healthy Living

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Clergy Self-Care: How Clergy and Congregations Can Prevent Burnout and Support Healthy LivingThe numbers of clergy experiencing burnout and depression has increased for a number of reasons. Most faith communities face financial stresses. Staff reductions have forced many faith leaders to take on more duties. Many clergy feel pressured to raise money and run capital campaigns which leaves less time for performing their pastoral responsibilities. Seminary graduates are leaving school with more personal debt than previous generations. With more duties, many clergy report being overwhelmed with more work and responsibilities.  The workload and lack of support can lead to feelings of isolation, burnout and depression. Because of the stigma surrounding mental illness, clergy often self-medicate instead of reaching out for help when feeling anxious, over-whelmed or stressed out.   

Suicide: How Faith Communities Can Provide Hope and Promote Healing

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Suicide: How Faith Communities Can Provide Hope and Promote HealingMore than 36,000 people in the United States die by suicide every year. It is this country's 10th leading cause of death, and is often characterized as a response to a single event or set of circumstances. However, unlike these popular conceptions, suicide is a much more involved phenomenon. The factors that contribute to any particular suicide are diverse and complex, so our efforts to understand it must incorporate many approaches.

Transforming Psychological Trauma: How Faith Communities Can Promote Healing

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Transforming Psychological TraumaPsychological trauma most often arises from abusive interpersonal events – child abuse, rape, domestic violence, captivity, combat – events in which one fears for one’s life or the life of others or experiences intense fear, helplessness or horror, or from the witnessing or learning of a violent tragic event. The experience of betrayal magnifies the negative power of the experience and can be the difference between what is simply a bad experience, and a traumatic experience.

Mental Illness and College Students

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Mental Illness and College StudentsFor many college students the first time they are away from home is when they enter higher education. The college experience is challenging for all students as they navigate through making new friends, achieving academic success, establishing their identity, learning to live independently, and planning their futures.

Creating Caring Congregations

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Creating Caring CongregationsThe sharing of personal stories and experiences provides a way to give voice to those who have suffered in silence, and allows churches to begin the process of reaching out and providing compassionate care to those affected by disorders of the brain.

Mental Illness in Older Adults: An Opportunity for Spiritual Growth

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Mental Illness in Older Adults: An Opportunity for Spiritual GrowthDepression is not a normal part of the aging process. Everyone feels sad or "blue" from time to time. But growing older involves adjusting to life changes that often involve loss: of loved ones, of familiar routines, of physical health. Depression is the most common emotional disorder in older adults, occuring in about one in seven people over 65.

Mental Illness: Coping with the Holidays

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Mental Illness: Coping with the HolidaysThe holidays are especially difficult when our own feelings of sadness, loneliness, depression and anxiety are the opposite of the "Hallmark" images we see all around us.

Guidelines for Clergy: Providing Pastoral Care to Persons with Mental Illness and Their Family

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Guidelines for Clergy: Providing Pastoral Care to Persons with Mental Illness and Their FamilyClergy need to educate themselves about mental illness so they can help their congregation provide appropriate support and friendship.

Comfort from the Scriptures

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Comfort from the ScripturesBible verses of comfort for persons with a mental illness. From the New Revised Standard Version.

Postpartum Depression

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Postpartum DepressionAt least one in ten new mothers experience various degress of postpartum depression. These feelings can occur within days after delivery or appear gradually sometimes up to a year or more later.

LA County Department of Mental Health: Mental Health, Spirituality & Religion

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LA County Department of Mental Health's Mental Health Spirituality & Religion brochureSpirituality and religion are important to health and mental health should be included in - not excluded from - healthcare services that strive to be holistic and culturally competent. The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health has heard for many years from the people they serve that spirituality and religion are valuable resources in finding hope, achieving wellness and living in recovery.