Learning about faith and mental health
Resources from Sanctuary and Mind and Soul
Here are a couple of training/learning resources to help churches/small groups learn about mental health from a faith context:
The Sanctuary Course
The Sanctuary Course is for anyone who wants to learn about faith and mental health. It requires no previous training or expertise—just a willingness to engage in dialogue with other believers.
The Sanctuary Course is an eight-week study guide for small groups. Each week participants will gather together, read through the content out loud or listen to it on audiobook, watch a film, and engage in conversation, reflection, and prayer. The course is designed to be run by small-group leaders in your church or organization.
Over the course of the eight weeks, participants will explore topics such as:
Understanding mental health and illness
The recovery journey
The role of community in mental health recovery
Each topic is explored from a psychological, social, and theological perspective. Additionally, each session is accompanied by a film, featuring the story of an individual who has journeyed through mental health challenges as a person of faith.
Each session includes several discussion questions designed to help you and your group engage interactively with the content and process the reading. There are also opportunities for you to reflect more personally on the topics through suggested spiritual practices and prayer.
The Sanctuary Course comes with carefully thought-out group guidelines. These guidelines are designed to help create an atmosphere of safety and respect in your group.
Watch this 4 min video:
More details can be found here.
Mind and Soul Group Training
Mind and Soul get lots of requests to 'come and do some training' - many more than they can accept. They made this video of some training they ran with CAP UK - Christians Against Poverty.
The video lasts for about an hour and has some places for you to pause it for group disucssion. You should also download the explanatory notes and group discussion questions that accompany it.
A suggested format for your training is as follows:
Good events come with good planning and preparation. See the 'putting on your own event' guide. Plan the event carefully, involving your church/group leadership
Set aside some time - an evening or half day is a good way to start, or run a Mental Health Sunday with a smaller event afterwards.
Welcome people and do some kind of ice breaker - don't ask anything too personal
Brainstorm - onto whiteboard or flipchart - what questions people have
Watch the video - there are two different resolutions you can download - HD 720px, HD 1080px. It lasts about an hour - plus any pauses for discussion.
Ask people to comment on whether their questions were answered and consider next steps.
Let Mind and Soul know when it is so they can help with their social media.
More details here.
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Geoff Knott, 19/11/2019