Breaking the Stigma of Talking About Mental Health in the Church

Did you know Medi-Share supports a Medi-Share Pastors’ Alliance? The MPA serves and supports church leaders and the Biblical work they do.

 

Over the last three years, the MPA has conducted focus-groups, interviews, and surveys, hearing from pastors and church leaders about their most pressing needs. Results show mental health and wellness near the top of list.

 

To break it down even further, stress, burnout, anxiety, depression, grief, addiction, and secondary traumatization are mental health topics which are consistently mentioned. Many church leaders who participated have shared they feel the church often mishandles these conversations, and we think it’s about time for that to change.

 

That’s why Medi-Share has partnered with Church Communications to present the second annual Thrive & Cultivate Summit. 

During the Thrive & Cultivate Summit: A Mental Health Event for Church Leaders, we want to normalize these kinds of conversations among church leaders and staff members. We also want to equip them to care for members of their congregation and community who may be struggling. 

 

This virtual event takes place May 11-12 and admission free. All that’s required is to go to ThriveandCultivate.com and register. Please join Medi-Share and thousands of church leaders around the country to be encouraged and empowered to have meaningful conversations around this critical need.

 

image with words "it's time for the church to address mental health"

 

Updated as of 5/4/22:

In the early part of the pandemic, as it became clear that mental health issues were on the rise, Medi-Share initiated a member vote to provide behavioral counseling services. In May of 2020, members voted overwhelmingly in favor of providing behavioral health counseling by phone, at no cost to fellow members with no impact to monthly shares.

 

The response to this additional offering was overwhelmingly positive. We are sensitive, however, to the fact that there is much more to consider, as the comments on this blog indicate.

 

We acknowledge that adjustments and additions to sharing eligibility of the Medi-Share program in the area of mental health should be considered, as the challenges our members were facing increasingly rose to the surface. We have begun exploring how best to address these issues with the membership.

 

The first step in determining what those additional features should look like was a pilot program through our Medi-Share Pastor’s Alliance. As those members shared their challenges and concerns, specifically as church leaders, we saw an opportunity to support them with the “Thrive and Cultivate” conference, which is addressing these issues head-on. We are using what we are learning from the Medi-Share Pastors’ Alliance members, as well as from this conference, to help shape what resources we can provide when dealing with mental and behavioral health issues.

 

As a member-driven ministry, any changes to the Medi-Share program must be presented to the membership for vote and approval. Part of the process of consideration is also to ascertain the financial impact of these decisions on monthly share amounts, and we are evaluating a variety of options

 

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