It’s that time of year again when we go through all of our posts and see which ones were the post viewed articles of this year. The irony of this list is that some of the older articles continue to drive a ton of traffic to this website as people have many questions about general questions such as Can Christians Go To Counseling? and How God Used My Struggles with Scrupulosity?
But this is about 2023 and the best content you liked. So in order, here are the top 10 articles from 2023.
#1: Spiritual First Aid
Mental health has always been a stigmatized thing within the Church, but the last decade has started to see some significant changes. One question I get asked a lot is how to educate people and that led to my sharing what my church has been doing to break the stigma of mental illness, with a new post every year on how we are further developing it. I also did a short video on this talking about several strategies your church could do right away and a separate list of 10 free ways to stop stigma.
#2: Mandatory Reporting for Churches [eBook]
Back in June, my church started up an intentional prayer team ministry that happens after the sermon while worship is still going on. The thought was we have many prayer needs and a place in the lobby called Next Steps for people to pray, but in the hustle of getting kids from nursery, saying goodbye to church friends, and off to the local diner for Sunday lunch, we were missing a lot of time to pray with people. So we kicked off the initiative with a training and recently launched.
#3: Clinical Assessments For Integrating Christian Spirituality
Faith has long had a contentious relationship with mental health, especially from the side of clinical practitioners. The mental health field itself is not a particularly strong religious incorporation though we know it is important for clients and so counselors need to wrestle with how they plan to practice with integrating spirituality. It is our believe that faith has a place in the clinical counseling session and Christian practices, when done ethically, can promote change and healing.
#4: Try Softer [Book Review]
The book Try Softer by Aundi Kolber is a book written by a Christian clinical counselor for those seeking to deal with mental health problems or those who are currently struggling. When our natural orientation for dealing with difficult things to do more, work harder, and push through, sometimes the opposite reaction is actually better.
#5: The Risks of AI With Mental Health Are Here
A few weeks ago, we shared about the likelihood of AI engaging with mental health, if we shared about the likelihood of AI engaging with mental health, if it was even possible, and how it would interpret our faith within it. The short of it, we were impressed. Now there is news of how AI is harming the mental health world. NPR recently covered a recent report about a concern from the National Eating Disorders Association helpline that moved from live human advice to a chatbot.
#6: An Introduction for Churches on Mental Health
Helping churches understand mental health is a process. It can start from the beginning when people do not understand mental health, other than “people get sad sometimes.” It can also be very easy because many congregation members and pastors already have a grasp on mental illness and substance use as they have seen it in their community and congregation. Sometimes it can be difficult due to the Christian stigma that creates more barriers for Christians struggling with mental illness than secular people.
#7: The Battle Within [Church Series]
I can officially say that we have an annual tradition of highlighting my church’s push for better mental health awareness in the month of May as this is the fourth year running. (If you want to see some of the things we have done in the past, check out these previous articles here, here, and here) This year’s events are going to be a little more involved, here is what we have listed.
#8: The Mental Health Benefits of Church
Within the clinical work of mental health and substance use, there is a growing idea called Bio-Psycho-Social-Spiritual Model that discusses how people are more than just biological cells or rational thought. When we are happy, this may initially be because we had our favorite cup of coffee or talked to a friend, but we know this also includes the health attachments in relationships, that we have been getting enough sleep, eating enough nutritional food, have been regularly tending to our mental health, and have a strong belief in their higher power with regular faith traditions. So it is no surprise that a recent study shows a strong correlation between stronger faith belief systems with overall better mental health.
We included this page as it is new to the website and one of the top ten pages viewed on our website. We love research and want to see it referenced more. We encourage you to use this in your sermons, inform your ministry opportunities, and continue to invest in your community with evidence-based, research-supported opportunities.
#10: Want Us To Speak At Your Event?
We love to take part in churches, ministries, conferences, and counseling agencies that have the heart to bring better care to their communities. These events are the beginning stages for many people into better serving and caring for individuals and families with mental illness, development and hidden disability, and substance misuse problems. We would be honored to join.