AMHFA FOR CHURCHES
Many people in our churches are hurting. Communities have struggled through the COVID-19 pandemic and are looking for healing in order to move forward.
Pastors themselves are also experiencing high levels of pain, stress, burnout, and depression. The number one thing African churches can do for the communities around them is to help the people with their mental health. It is well known throughout Africa that mental health issues are filled with negative myths and taboos, causing those affected to face mistreatment from their communities, turning ill mental health issues into a human rights issue and causing those affected by mental ill health not to seek treatment.
We want to see churches serve, understand and welcome everyone in their community, irrespective of mental health difficulties. What do you do if domestic violence is brought to your attention or someone has a panic attack in the middle of a church service?
How would you respond if someone in your congregation expresses suicidal thoughts or shows signs of post-traumatic stress? Or if someone in your Sunday school class appears isolated and depressed, or maybe showing signs of abuse? how would you approach them?
These are just a few of the situations where a church leader might encounter mental illness within the congregation. The mental health crisis on the continent of Africa is one we, community leaders cannot afford to ignore.
Dealing with mental health challenges can be, well, challenging. But they do not have to be complicated or consuming. If you know a few simple steps, you can work with mental health issues in your communities and congregations.
AMHFA FOR Churches and Community Groups AMHFA is a digital toolkit designed to equip church,religious and community leaders to address issues of mental health in their communities.