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Strategies for Engaging both the Christian Organizations and Churches with the Mental Health Community Rev. Derrick Thorpe, D Min. Dean of Graduate Studies.

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Presentation on theme: "Strategies for Engaging both the Christian Organizations and Churches with the Mental Health Community Rev. Derrick Thorpe, D Min. Dean of Graduate Studies."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strategies for Engaging both the Christian Organizations and Churches with the Mental Health Community Rev. Derrick Thorpe, D Min. Dean of Graduate Studies at Carolina Christian College, Winston- Salem, NC Associate Minister, New Light Missionary Baptist Church, Greensboro NC Rev. Derrick Thorpe, D Min. Dean of Graduate Studies at Carolina Christian College, Winston- Salem, NC Associate Minister, New Light Missionary Baptist Church, Greensboro NC

2 Overview  Understanding the needs of the mentally ill – culturally, biblically, historically, and theologically  Educating the Church through seminar, workshops, and preaching that will change their attitudes toward mental illness  Understanding the needs of the mentally ill – culturally, biblically, historically, and theologically  Educating the Church through seminar, workshops, and preaching that will change their attitudes toward mental illness

3 Administer Survey

4 Understanding Our Cultural Context  lacking participation in understanding the needs of the mentally ill  There appears to be no model that educates the church about the needs of the mentally ill  Openness to mentally ill persons  Evaluate personal beliefs  The church and community play a role in providing care to the mentally ill  lacking participation in understanding the needs of the mentally ill  There appears to be no model that educates the church about the needs of the mentally ill  Openness to mentally ill persons  Evaluate personal beliefs  The church and community play a role in providing care to the mentally ill

5 Understanding Our Cultural Context – Religiously  Increase experimentation with other religious practices beyond Christianity  Increase participation in mental health institutions In the preservation, and safekeeping of mental health, the Church has an undertaking, a major role to play. The Church can engage the mental health community in many ways according to Clinebell: motivation, initiating action and presenting Christ  Increase experimentation with other religious practices beyond Christianity  Increase participation in mental health institutions In the preservation, and safekeeping of mental health, the Church has an undertaking, a major role to play. The Church can engage the mental health community in many ways according to Clinebell: motivation, initiating action and presenting Christ

6 Defining and Understanding mental illness from a biblical perspective  Biblical References  Dan 4:  Mark 5: 1-20  Importance/ Implication  Don’t let them down  Don’t shun them  Don’t dismiss their reality  Biblical References  Dan 4:  Mark 5: 1-20  Importance/ Implication  Don’t let them down  Don’t shun them  Don’t dismiss their reality

7 Ways We Have neglected the mentally ill  Ignoring the problem  Refusing to deal with mental illness in the family  Misunderstanding of what it means to be a mentally ill  Image  Worship  Mission

8 Engaging and Reclaiming the mentally ill  Be definitive about who Jesus Is  Be definitive about who we are and what we are called to do  The benefits of mental health education are defined as:  familiar support  textual material  a growing spirituality  services that are linked and referred.  Be definitive about who Jesus Is  Be definitive about who we are and what we are called to do  The benefits of mental health education are defined as:  familiar support  textual material  a growing spirituality  services that are linked and referred.

9 An Understanding Of Church ... the will of God for human socialness as a whole is prefigured by the shape to which the Body of Christ is called. Church and world are not two compartments under separate legislation or two institutions with contradictory assignments, but two levels of the pertinence of the same Lordship. The people of God is called to be today what the world is called to be ultimately. John Howard Yoder Body Politics: Five Practices of the Christian Community Before the Watching World ... the will of God for human socialness as a whole is prefigured by the shape to which the Body of Christ is called. Church and world are not two compartments under separate legislation or two institutions with contradictory assignments, but two levels of the pertinence of the same Lordship. The people of God is called to be today what the world is called to be ultimately. John Howard Yoder Body Politics: Five Practices of the Christian Community Before the Watching World

10 Understanding Our Context Theologically  Liberation Theology can be defined as empowering the oppressed  Liberation Theology serves as a critical foundation in helping to enhance our understanding of mental health  Liberation Theology provides a common ground of hope  Liberation Theology reflects on the Christian faith through the lens of the exploited  Liberation Theology creates accountability for the Church and Christian organizations for the oppressed  Liberation Theology can be defined as empowering the oppressed  Liberation Theology serves as a critical foundation in helping to enhance our understanding of mental health  Liberation Theology provides a common ground of hope  Liberation Theology reflects on the Christian faith through the lens of the exploited  Liberation Theology creates accountability for the Church and Christian organizations for the oppressed

11 Where does the Christian Organizations and the Church go now?  Identify leaders in the field of mental health  Partner with a mental health agency  Develop a support group for the mentally ill  Develop a mental health ministry within the church  Survey the congregation, create a safe space  Use preaching as a treatment- cultivating an atmosphere of acceptance  Acknowledge and validate their realities  Create a support group for the families of the mentally ill  Train clergy and other leaders to meet the needs of this demographic. 11

12 Q&A Session


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