Speaking of Mental Health...
I have been reading a book titled Mental Health Case Management: A Practical Guide. It is a textbook for one of my classes in the Counseling program that I am completing this Spring.
I have come to understand that we, as professional Pastors and Ministers, who work with people, should know some of the language when dealing with parishioners who are struggling with mental health symptoms. At least know enough to be able to recognize symptoms and make a referral to an appropriate medical doctor. Prayer is important, especially when a member is requesting prayer. Prayer is also important as you pray for your members in your private prayer time. The ability to recognize symptoms, to be able to dialogue in a caring way with empathy, and to make referrals is just as important. It is called caring for the whole person.
I had an interesting experience many years ago. It involved a soldier on mental health medication. We were deployed and he ran out of his medication. His symptoms as well as suicidal ideations began to show in his life. I was asked to intervene and from that intervention I was able to relay to the soldier’s leadership what was going on. They were then able to make an informed decision for the safety of the soldier and his peers.
Likewise, I know it is daunting to work with people in the congregation who suffer from a mental health diagnosis. I learned to share good resources as a minister, a chaplain, and soon to be a licensed counselor (summer of 2019, I have to pass certain tests).
I encourage you to look at the following website as a resource
I can imagine larger churches having the resources to implement suggestions made by the attached resource. I believe that smaller churches can also make a positive impact on those members who are suffering a mental health diagnosis. Smaller church leadership can meet and establish relationships with resources in the community. Resources such as Licensed Counselors, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Medical Doctors, etc. I know, some of you will want to connect with resources that share some of your values. The point is to get to know the resources, the people that can help you help your members. It would be to your creditability to learn some of the language so you can be part of the solution for your members.
© Dan Kinjorski, 2019
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Dan is in a second career, that of Counselor, but he is a pastor at heart. He desires to present the Word of God in its context and then challenge the reader in its application to our lives. It is the Word of God that brings revival to our souls. The psalmist writes, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.
Dan and Maribel Kinjorski
Dan and Maribel are Bible Teachers. They love to expound on the Word of God. Maribel has been involved in Church since an early age. A graduate of the University of San German, Puerto Rico, in Business Administration and Economy. Dan is a graduate of East Coast Bible College (now shuttered) and the Pentecostal Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity (1999) , Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (2019), and now working on a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology: Counseling Education and Supervision.