This year we have talked to churches, Christian counselors, and individuals with mental illness or other disorders on how they can find wholeness and restoration through faith and mental health. But there is one category of people we do not want to overlook who are a huge part of the lives of those with mental illness: the caregiver. We put all of our focus on those with mental illness but need to be supporting and caring for the caregiver too. So this article is for you.
Awareness of Caregiver’s Mental Health
Last week we updated our list of awareness months for 2021 and in November we will absolutely be supporting caregivers in awareness for all they do. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America:
40-70% of caregivers show symptoms of depression with approximately a quarter to half of these caregivers meet the diagnostic criteria for major depression.
We have several articles on coping skills we have shared for those with mental illness on how they can use coping skills and integrate faith. They absolutely will work for caregivers or others who want to improve their mental health.
- 12 Ways Christians Can Self-Care For Coronavirus
- Reduce Stress With Coronavirus
- Prayer As A Coping Skill
Another secular resource you could consider is looking into the Caregiver Action Network that goes beyond mental health and looking at caregivers of those who are elderly, stroke victims, etc. The one option is their Family Caregiver Toolbox with lots of resources.
Churches: Offer Support Too
Church’s can also be a huge support. Whether it is creating a small group for caregivers to have Bible study together or hosting NAMI with their family-to-family (something my church is doing this year), you have direct ways to meet the spiritual needs of your congregation.
Another option is to look into organizations like Nathaniel’s Hope with their program called Buddy Break which offers respite care for families.