Life Ain’t Easy [Video]

I love the ministry Joni & Friends. Honestly, if you haven’t seen it, whether you have a ministry at your church for people with disabilities, have personal experience, or no direct relationship with it, I’d encourage you to check it out.

The video below is powerful as it is, but Joni is such a dynamic speaker that her words hit even harder. If you are struggling with something, I encourage you to take it to God and know that He has not abandoned you.

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The Youth Worker’s Guide to Helping Teenagers in Crisis [Book Review]

Having worked in youth ministry for eight years of my life, I understand what it means when a youth pastor says “you never know what today will bring.” Sometimes this applies to the skills that are not formally on your job description like running sound, cleaning the bathrooms, or figuring out the right combination of baking soda for that one game which is probably a bad idea to play.

But we also know that teenagers are going through a lot of change in their lives. Having a book on hand for when you are forewarned about a crisis might be nice to have. Nobody expects a pastor to be an expert in crisis, but getting a quick three page crash course on a topic might be just what you need for a situation.

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NAMI Basics [Free Training]

The National Alliance on Mental Illness is a grassroots organization that has spread across the United States in a response to a lack of education for families of those who have mental illness. It was seen regularly that clients with mental illness would be given coping skills, medication, and education on the disorders they struggle with, but the family would be seen as a secondary impact. Further the impact of the community for the individual and family also was not being fully addressed.

Since 1979, NAMI has been growing in it’s advocacy and education for communities around the United States, now with 500 local affiliates. The organization has numerous resources to share, but are best known for their educational groups for individuals and families called Family-To-Family and Peer-To-Peer.

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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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