Skills & Support
Become more confident interacting with people with a mental illness and responding to crises within the community
Mental illness is becoming increasingly recognised as an issue that needs awareness in our church community. In Australia, 45% of people will experience a mental illness in their lifetime and 20% of Australians will have experienced a mental illness in the past 12 months. Having an awareness of mental illness and how it can impact on someone’s personal life, relationships and church involvement is therefore necessary to care for your community. Many leaders are often dealing with people experiencing mental illness and being asked to respond to community or psychiatric emergencies within their church without adequate training. Whilst mental health training is readily available within Australia, this workshop aims to address any unbalanced theological underpinnings of mental illness that may shape unhelpful attitudes and responses to those with mental illness and provide practical biblically based strategies to meet the emotional needs of your own context and church community.
This workshop is divided into two sessions with the first session providing an overview and understanding of mental illness and the second session providing practical skills for dealing with mental illness and crises.
In the first session we will investigate the development and maintenance of mental illness covering issues on whether mental illness is spiritual or psychological (or a combination of the two), as well as exploring demon possession, sin and the various views on human emotions. You will learn about different types of mental illness, their related signs and symptoms and how to respond to the most common mental illnesses within the community.
In the second session, you will be provided with biblically based and psychologically informed skills for counselling and mentoring people experiencing distressing emotions, such as fear, hopelessness and grief. You will also learn about when to refer people to mental health professionals and how to deal with trauma and psychiatric emergencies occurring within the church and your own context.
- Gain an understanding of spiritual and psychological perspectives on mental illness
- Identify and understand the common types of mental illness
- Apply biblically based strategies to respond to people with a mental illness
- Know when and where to refer church members for professional help