Khesed: Reframing the Design of Mental Health Services

An Interview with Heather Nelson

It’s been referred to as . . .

Heather Nelson
  • The “Golden Rule”
  • The law of reciprocity
  • Pay-it-forward
  • Proactive action
  • WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?)
  • Strong moral code of conduct


In other words . . . just be kind. Easier said than done.

Because we live in a broken world, because hurt people hurt people, because it’s easier and cheaper to be bitter than forgiving, and because the church often lacks understanding about mental health care few address their wounds in a healthy manner.

In addition, most therapists are underfunded, cannot find reasonable office space, and often must office too far away from their homes. Because mental illnesses rank in the highest disability category, something must change.

Heather Nelson, founder of Khesed Wellness, has developed an answer. Khesed is the Hebrew word for “loving kindness,” and Khesed resonates in Heather’s soul.

In this interview, Heather tells us about how she has made healing affordable and available. She is also bridging the gap between churches and mental health communities. In her words, it’s a Win-Win-Win!

Watch the Interview

Interview Questions

  1. Tell us about Khesed Wellness.
  2. How does Khesed Wellness perpetuate a reciprocal model of sharing kindness?
  3. Why is there a stigma when it comes to issues about mental health?
  4. How did you develop the innovative business model for Khesed Wellness?
  5. How does Khesed Wellness represent a win-win-win for churches and mental health professionals?
  6. Why is it important to look at a number of factors when helping someone with mental health issues?
  7. Why is it dangerous to assume, when a person says he or she needs help for a mental health issue, that he or she is just looking for attention?
  8. What is the spectrum of growth, and how does it help us put into proper perspective what it means to be mentally healthy?
  9. How is authenticity essential to maintaining both mental and spiritual health?

Let Me Hear from You

Along with kindness, we all long for peace in life. When we struggle emotionally or mentally, peace is almost always disrupted. Heather reveals what can happen when someone chooses to pursue healing—a choice that is now bringing revolutionary change to personal lives, communities, and churches.

For peace to return, it’s time to let go of whatever is holding you back from seeking help. No more excuses, no more attempts to do the same things and expect different results.

To find peace again, make the courageous choice toward healing. And for our Christian communities, let’s replicate Heather’s model which begins with loving kindness given in abundance to each other.

In Solomon’s words,

Where there is no counsel, the people fall;
But in the multitude of counselors there is safety
 (Proverbs 11:14 NKJV).

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

About Heather NelsonHeather Nelson

Heather (founder and executive director) built Khesed Wellness because she observed that the mental health care community is dominated by the lack of accessibility, affordability, and sustainability of counseling care. She has a counseling degree, theological training, and a business mind guiding her creation of Khesed Wellness. She believes faith communities can and want to transform their neighborhoods. She created a way for counselors to thrive and has found a way for people to afford counseling help. It’s a Win-Win-Win™. Heather specializes in LGBTQ issues, particularly the intersection of faith and sexuality. Khesed Wellness is welcoming and affirming!

Heather Nelson Resources

Please visit for resources, links, to gain more information, or to request therapeutic and healing services, or call 972-523-4921.

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  • So

    Hello Colleen ,
    I am going to need to come back and read through this although I can say Brilliant, another of your Brilliant interviews, this one on so many levels and maybe that I can so resonate and relate is why I say this.
    I am not clear enough to read as my intention became all confused with circumstances that seem as thought God had yet another plan or intention for me. As I was ready to go by my dad side to read scripture and prayer, my brother as you know informed me he was passing and no sooner on a less than powerful relaxant and he was calm and sleeping. With this the pattern of my siblings that I have been communicating began to unravel and show the true selves of insecurity of their own emotion and vulnerabilities and not being able to be there for me and my needs, and then this morning my one brother snapping at me. There is not the depth and understanding and compassion that I share with each of them. I had been asking since last nite if my dad has asked for me in his last moments, and there had been silence . I went to bed sad and hurt that he did not ask for me. I thought my one brother would have had the intuition I thought he did, when I had asked him those 10-13 hours away to let me know if coming to end and if dad asks for me to let me know and I will come be there . He never did say so I communicated this morning trying to find out if my dad did ask in final moments for me be there, and my brother snapped and insecure in his own emoitions ,he said strongly that I was told weeks ago that my parents were asking for me and now all dad can do is squeeze his hand. I get it but that was not what I was asking for from him. He took the insecurity and targeted me with blame and that he was too busy showering and going back to hospital. He is not able to look after what I asking or of my need to know what I asked and what I in truth asked. God has a different plan here, I will not go where all siblings and family have this same attiribute not to be able handle this emotional time and treat others careful attention in process. So I come on your blog and is this yet another message, to treat others with the same kindness and respect that I would like for myself? I am going to need sit and pray and just go about my own life here and let all be as God intends it to be. I need to be and know I am safe and where I live I know I have created support and security and loving attention. I will not place myself in a situ;ation that brings me anything to retraumitize me with too many surrounding me that will not understand Jesus and /or see the truth and not the high emotins that can be harmful to me for no good reason but to be a scapegoat.
    WIth Love, sorry this all turned upside down for me. I will be coming back to read again and yesterday thoughts as well, I do wish to reply with more thoughtful care of attention to details.

    • Sand,
      I’m so glad you wrote. What hit me most is that while we are to treat others with kindness and respect, we are not to submit ourselves to trauma or abuse ever. Sometimes the most kind and loving thing to do is to remain where you are because the trauma would cause you to unravel, I believe. I don’t think you are in a place where their company would be helpful in any way. However, I also want to ask you to sit and pray over what GOD wants you to do. If you will forever regret not going, then you may need to consider going. You have come so far, grown so much that I would not expect any of your family to understand or welcome who you have become. They are indifferent, hostile towards you from what you have written. I’ve not heard any admission or even openness to reflective thinking on their part…how have we hurt our daughter/sister/aunt? What needs to be done on their part is to seek change which I’ve not ever read that is their intention. Sand, this is so hard…life changing events in unhealthy systems always cause chaos. My question to you is to ask if God is leading you to stay or go; the second being are you in a place to handle this sort of chaos? I will do whatever I can to walk with you through this. All my love to you, Colleen

  • So

    the other thought I wanted to share from yesterday when book of bible stories fell and opened , the page of Joseph story that opened, the exact scripture on this page was “Joseph Forgives His Brothers—-“You mean to do me evil, but God means it for good”. Gen 50:20
    I look so forward to returning to read and view your interview in full clarity and attention! It is also offering very useful guidance and resource.
    WIth Love

    • Sand,
      What a gift to have scripture open like that. To me, that’s God’s voice speaking to you. Forgiveness is healing in so many ways. It doesn’t mean we have to submit ourselves to more hurt or being abused though. It means we have let go of the desire to seek revenge, controlling another’s choices, and are letting God be sovereignly in charge. I hope this makes sense…yes, forgiveness is something I’m working on as well. I may never see some who I am forgiving again; but it’s part of our transformation to allow God to have the final say and for us to let go. Praying for you today my friend. Colleen