Mental Health Training and Resources
Mental health problems are common. We see signs of them every day in friends, family members, co-workers and in our faith communities. We know that without early intervention individuals can be lost to suicide or addiction, sink into deep depression, experience paralyzing anxiety, or endanger themselves or others. Yet most of us are not confident in our ability to help.
Our Conference Health as Wholeness Team offers workshops and seminars to help clergy and laity address these issues.
Mental Health First Aid Training
Mental Health First Aid training provides clergy and laity with the skills and knowledge necessary to identify and assist individuals with developing mental health care needs, as well as those in crisis, until appropriate professional help is available. Mental Health First Aid training is an interactive 12-hour course led by a certified instructor who presents an overview of mental illness and substance abuse. It introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and examines common treatments. Those who attend the course for certification as Mental Health First-Aiders learn a five-step action plan to help an individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional, peer, social support.
“In attending a "Mental Health First Aid" course.., I found it to be very interesting and informative as well as extremely well-presented by Julie Kolacz,” said the Rev. Audrey Lovewell. “I personally had felt uncomfortable in approaching someone with severe problems, feeling they would resent the interference. Training in the proper method of approaching persons in distress has given me more confidence in that area. I would highly recommend the Mental Health First Aid course to all pastors and/or anyone concerned for the mental health of their Church family, friends, and neighbors.
Faith and Mental Health
Just as Jesus healed people struggling with mental, emotional and physical ailments, United Methodists reach out to their sisters and brothers who seek healing. Below is a bulletin insert often used during Mental Health Month in May. Learn more and find resources at umc.org/mentalhealth
The resource highlights the five emphases of Caring Communities:
- Educate congregations and the community in public discussion about mental illness and work to reduce the stigma experienced by those suffering.
- Covenant to understand and love people with mental illness and their families.
- Welcome all people and their families into the faith community.
- Support people with mental illness and their families through providing awareness, prayer and respect.
- Advocate for better access, funding and support for mental health treatment and speak out on mental health concerns.
Find more information and resources at umc.org/mentalhealth.