Mental Health
Friendly Church.

Vision

To see local churches leading the way in society with an elevated understanding of mental health and mental illness, the eradication of stigma against mental illness and encouragement to respond with compassion and safe and supportive spaces for everyone to grow and flourish.

The Mental Health Friendly Church Project is committed to:

Story So Far

In the summer of 2020 the co-founders of Kintsugi Hope, Patrick and Diane Regan gathered Christian leaders from across the country on Zoom to see how together we could create more safe and supportive spaces for people to explore mental and emotional health. It was a rich time of praying and dreaming together, and one of those attending voiced these words:

'It's great that wellbeing groups can be safe and supportive spaces - but what happens when church isn’t a safe and supportive space?;

This question sparked a conversation about the culture shift needed within our churches and communities about how we view mental health. This is where the seed of the mental health friendly church project was first planted and in April 2021, the Mental Health Friendly Church Project was launched.

We partnered with Christian think tank Theos to conduct qualitative research with church leaders and a quantitative study of 1000 regular church goers so that we could get a clear understanding of the attitudes towards mental health enabling our resources to be tailored directly to the needs of the church in this period.

We know that many churches are already responding and offering a safe and supportive space for people to feel welcomed and accepted. Yet we are aware the research has indicated a need to which we are responding by creating training and resources which we hope will support more local churches in creating welcoming, safe and supportive, mental health friendly communities.

Some key findings were:

Training

91% of church leaders interviewed had received no training on mental health. From Spring 2022 we are offering a day training course for leaders, lay leaders and congregations to understand the language we use around mental health, the biblical mandate for mental health and the role of the church in practically supporting those affected by mental illness.

Name Our Position

56% of interviewees said their church rarely or never spoke about mental health, so we want to provide sermon outlines, small group materials and events to encourage a national conversation about mental health in our churches. It’s time for the church to speak up against stigma and ensure that churches are safe and supportive spaces.

Gentle Presence

throughout the research, there was a clarion call for the need to be gently present with people, not rushing them but embracing the mess of life and the human need for companionship and community.

We recognize that what is needed to cultivate a mental health friendly church is not quick work; but a culture shift which encourages honesty, gentleness and the hope we have in Jesus. We want you to come on the journey with us so that we can move together towards a church which is a sanctuary for all.

Read the Full Executive summary here.

Mental Health Friendly Church Training

A One Day training for lay leaders and church members.

Join us to explore together how we can elevate our understanding of mental health, eradicate the stigma against mental health issues by naming our position, and encourage a compassionate response through gentle presence.

The day is suitable for small group leaders, pastoral workers, lay leaders and anyone involved in caring or support roles in their church. This training will help you to:

If you or your church would like to know more about hosting a mental health friendly church training day, get in touch using our contact form.

Last Updated: 19 Aug 2022, 18:55:05

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