You are reading a post in the mini-series entitled “When Churches Reopen” which I decided to write when I began seeing that some churches around the world were beginning to reopen and in reading their announcements or newsletters I began noticing that a lot of them were forgetting a few things. This post in the series is about the mentally vulnerable.
It’s no secret that with the pandemic everyone’s mental health has been affected whether it’s more stress or existing mental health struggles that become harder to manage.
The Church hasn’t historically been very helpful when it comes to mental health struggles, from saying that having anxiety is sinful to teaching that depression is a lack of God’s joy. And I’m afraid I haven’t seen many churches speaking up or being proactive about mental health during this time.
So here below I’ll be sharing how churches can help those finding themselves mentally vulnerable.
You Can Help People Pay For Therapy Or Medication
I know for a fact that because people lost their jobs or got laid off, they could no longer pay to see their therapists or get necessary medications. And some people cannot simply quit either or both of these things.
Your church can offer to help pay for people struggling to pay for their visits or medications. Mental health care is serious, and some people are in need of professional help.
Churches should pay attention to any members who may be struggling mentally because they are without these things for financial reasons.
You Can Stay Connected Even From A Distance
Maybe some of your church members can’t attend church right away once it reopens due to health reasons. Or maybe you are reopening with attendance numbers cut down. Or maybe your church isn’t reopening at all yet. This is why staying connected is so important.
People need other people. Self-isolating and social distancing is hard on everyone’s mental health. Staying connected on social media, with texts, phone or video calls, with emails or even snail mail letters is really important and can help our mental health tremendously.
Making sure to check in on already mentally vulnerable people is also important. People who suffer from depression, anxiety, and people with OCD, etc., may be having an increasingly hard time. And it may be very difficult for them even as things reopen again. These transitions will be hard for all of us even without pre-existing mental health struggles.
Be sure to reach out and stay connected.
Chris, here at ChurchMag, suggested that I include that at first, it may be easier for some people to enter back into a smaller group of people first for social distancing reasons.
This got me to thinking that this may be especially helpful for any individuals having an extra difficult time coming out of social distancing too. It could be mentally overwhelming for some people as we make these transitions.
Your church can organize small groups of people based on location or other things, to help everyone get adjusted to getting back together again. Because if we’re honest, it’ll be new and different for all of us.
I hope that this post gets your church thinking about anyone feeling especially mentally vulnerable right now.
What would you add to this? What is your church doing to look out for everyone’s mental health? Let me know in the comments!
As always, if you or someone you know is struggling please talk with a trusted friend or family member or make an appointment with a Mental Healthcare Professional as soon as you can.
In this series: