Hope With God [Devotional]

For those who have struggled with mental illness or substance misuse, for well over six months, you may have felt the pain of helplessness and even hopelessness. Day in and day out without relief, the endless sorrow of losing a loved one, the oncoming panic attack, or the worry of another relapse can wear down the mind, heart, and soul.

But we also know that our hope as Christians does not come from within our own selves, but from God. He is near to those who call on Him.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

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Free Mental Health Inclusion Ministry Training [Videos]

I am absolutely all for people looking at how to start up a mental health inclusion ministry. The difficult part, how do you start and what do you focus on? The good news is you do not need to reinvent the wheel. We’ve already talked about the book Mental Health and the Church which you should check out.

But the author of that book, Steve Grcevich, also did a series of training videos to create a mental health inclusion ministry that you can go watch now for free on his non-profit’s website at KeyMinistry.org here. I’ve included a couple of videos below and if you like them, click through to see the rest.

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10 Tips To Improve Your Marriage

If you are like me and my wife, you do not have it all together, so always learning, always growing, and always trying to be intentional is important. I say this knowing I’ve certainly had an argument with my wife today and I was in the wrong. Not “today” as in I wrote this, but every today that comes. So these 10 tips to improve your marriage are things I have been slowly trying to add over the last ten years of my marriage to my wife and I hope they help you.

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Books We Recommend

If you are apart of our newsletter, you know we have been putting together a list of books we recommend you read behind-the-scenes as an easy resource for you to use. We think it is important to not only important to keep up-to-date on what others are doing with mental health within the Church, but also the discussion thought leaders are having on this topic. So we created a list of must reads on the topic of mental health and the Church. Today we are releasing our list of books we recommend you read to the public.

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Pastors and Secondary Trauma [Video]

Secondary traumatic stress is defined by The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), a leading research and innovator in therapeutic techniques on childhood and family trauma, as “the emotional duress that results when an individual hears about the firsthand trauma experiences of another… For therapists, child welfare workers, case managers, and other helping professionals involved in the care of traumatized children and their families, the essential act of listening to trauma stories may take an emotional toll that compromises professional functioning and diminishes quality of life.”

At a later time, we will talk about how you can help develop resiliency, identify secondary trauma, and how to prevent it. For now, take a look at this video by Leah Warshawski that explains secondary trauma… even if she doesn’t know she’s describing it.

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Free Counseling Referral Brochure

We are trying something new and wonder if you would want in to try something out. We’ve been talking with youth pastors, elders, and Christian counselors about some of the biggest needs the Church is currently facing.

The biggest of all of the topics on mental health? How to get people into counseling.

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Religious OCD (Scrupulosity)

You probably know about and have a basic idea of what Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is, but you may not know that there are different forms of it.

One of the forms is called Religious OCD, also known as Scrupulosity, and Wikipedia describes it as below:

Scrupulosity is characterized by pathological guilt about moral or religious issues.

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Pain And Mental Health

In the last couple of decades, a revolution is happening in the mental health field as we begin to integrate medical components into our program. It started with substance misuse treatment and quickly incorporated things such as an individual’s thyroid which can create anxiety and depressive symptoms or diet and exercise that can have significant positive impact with a person’s mood and relationships. One big integration that is still continuing to be explored, researched, and discussed is pain.

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Mental Health and the Church [Book Review]

I have been on the hunt for a book that will help in creating a mental health ministry which helps to bridge the gap between the Church and professional counseling. Previously I’ve stated Amy Simpson’s Troubled Minds was the best book out there to make this connection (and at the heart of how a Christian family feels when someone struggles with mental illness, it still is the best). Then comes Steve Grcevich’s book “Mental Health and the Church,” which I will say has become the cornerstone for me in implementing a mental health inclusion ministry.

Note: I should say there is some bias with this review. I did attend Inclusion Fusion Live where we met, am personally in dialogue with him on upcoming creative ideas, and write monthly for his ministry. But that’s a testament to how good his content is.

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My Faith, My Stream, and My Autism

A few months ago, Jeremy featured an article on ChurchMag covering some Christian streamers, of which I was included. He recently followed up and asked me to write something about what makes me different from the other streamers in that article. You see, I’m on the autism spectrum. I have Asperger’s syndrome. I was diagnosed in middle school, which raised its own challenges, along with being a teenager. It’s those experiences, though, that shaped me into who I am today. In learning to deal with ridicule both at school and church, I’ve grown to know the Lord better and, through His grace, show His love to the world.

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