Six Ways to Support Mental Health: A Revolutionary Model

An Interview with Kay Warren

Mental illness is a hot topic these days. For some it raises red flags of concern; for others it raises eyebrows in judgment. In spite of the fact that the Bible presumes and addresses the brokenness of the human heart and mind (take a look at Psalm 31:12; Proverbs 17:10; Ephesians 2:3; and James 4:8 for a small sampling), mental health—mental wellness or illness—is a subject most Christians know very little about.

Kay Warren
Kay Warren

Kay Warren lost her son to suicide. Not only did she and her family suffer from the stigma of mental illness, they also found very little support in their church. But that has to change, and it can change.

Watch the Interview

You can be a revolutionary agent of change by incorporating the C.H.U.R.C.H. mental health support model in your church. C.H.U.R.C.H. encourages the body of believers to:

  • Care for others
  • Help with practical needs
  • Utilize volunteers
  • Remove stigma
  • Collaborate with the community
  • Hope.

It’s free, it’s simple—it begins with you.

The greatest model of supporting others is Jesus Christ. He showed up for those in need—tenderly caring for society’s stigmatized. The body of Christ should do that too. Kay shared through the C.H.U.R.C.H. model that each of us can offer support to those in need, regardless of the size of our church or our wallets.

Key Stats That May Surprise You

Here are some key statistics from organizations committed to mental health research:

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • It is estimated that only about 17 percent of U.S. adults are considered to be in a state of optimal mental health.
  • Depression is the most common type of mental illness, affecting more than 26 percent of the U.S. adult population.
  • It has been estimated that by the year 2020, depression will be second only to ischemic heart disease as the leading cause of disability worldwide.
  • Depressive disorders correlate strongly with many chronic diseases including diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and obesity.1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Mental Health Basics,” http://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/basics.htm, accessed Oct. 12, 2015.

From the National Alliance on Mental Illness:

  • One in five people worldwide have a mental or neurological disorder at some point in their lives.
  • Four hundred fifty million people currently suffer from mental disorders, placing mental illness among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.
  • Treatment works, but nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental illness never seek help from a health professional.2National Alliance on Mental Illness, “StigmaBusters: Did You Know?” http://www2.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Take_Action/Fight_Stigma/national_stigma_flyer.pdf, accessed Oct. 12, 2015.

From the World Health Organization, on suicide:

  • More than 800,000 people die due to suicide every year.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15–29-year-olds.
  • There are indications that for each adult who dies of suicide, there may be more than 20 others who attempted suicide.3World Health Organization, “10 Facts on Mental Health,” http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/mental_health/mental_health_facts/en/, accessed Oct. 12, 2015.

Let Me Hear from You

In what way will you show up?

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Notes:   [ + ]

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Mental Health Basics,” http://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/basics.htm, accessed Oct. 12, 2015.
2. National Alliance on Mental Illness, “StigmaBusters: Did You Know?” http://www2.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Take_Action/Fight_Stigma/national_stigma_flyer.pdf, accessed Oct. 12, 2015.
3. World Health Organization, “10 Facts on Mental Health,” http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/mental_health/mental_health_facts/en/, accessed Oct. 12, 2015.
  • Mary Tutterow

    You are right on with this! I wrote and teach a course for caregivers – anyone caring for someone with chronic illness, age related issues, or special needs (www.theheartofthecaregiver.com). There is a huge need for churches to minister to those who are caring for someone with a debilitating or life threatening illness as well as to minister to the individual. I believe supporting the families first is the most reasonable and effective way to make an impact.

    • Mary,
      Wow! What a powerful comment! Thank you…thank you for what you are doing to change the direction of those dismissed and their families. Yes, care is a family need, not just an individual need. How often does scripture to the BLDT, the whole, all of us; not distinguishing between those typical or non-typical…whatever that means anyway in the bigger picture. I would love to learn what you are doing, thank you for sending your site link. I so appreciate you, your heart, your passion, and your presence for those who need care and comfort. Thank you again…I hope we continue to connect! Colleen

    • Mary,
      I checked out your site and LOVE it…way to go.
      Thanks for connecting. Colleen