Talking About Mental Health With Your LifeGroup - Life.Church Leaders

Talking About Mental Health With Your LifeGroup

by Amber Siany

In recent years, more and more people have started opening up about their mental health experiences and struggles. And this is a good thing! God desires for all of us to talk to Him and the people we trust about the ups and downs of our lives—including mental health. We all need that support.

But leading friends in conversations about mental health? That can feel challenging. What does it look like to create a safe space? How can you pastor people in their mental health journey, while also tending to your own mental health? How do you know when it’s time to point someone toward help? These kinds of questions are totally normal.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as your LifeGroup navigates conversations about mental health.

1. Stay calm, cool, and collected. Mental health is a big topic of conversation, and with it can come big feelings and emotions. It’s possible that someone in your LifeGroup will share something heavy and personal with your group, and it will be tempting to react. Instead, focus on listening and responding with love. You set the tone, so if you remain calm, the rest of your group will stay calm too.

2. Know your role. It is not your job to “fix” or “heal” someone’s mental health. Instead, your role is to offer support, listen, care for, and guide your group to helpful resources and tools.* Keep your focus on making sure your people feel cared for and heard.

3. Be a source of hope. Don’t underestimate the power of your relationships with the people in your LifeGroup. If someone is opening up about a struggle they’re navigating, it’s because they trust you. So use that trust to offer hope and encouragement. Validate their feelings and always point them back to our true source of hope: Jesus. It can be as simple as taking their burdens to Jesus—together.

*Connect with your local LifeGroups team or Community Leader to learn more about resources and tools for mental health in your area.

Here are a few resources to help you lead through these conversations.

Remember, you don’t need to have all the right answers or know all the right things to respond with love and compassion. God has specifically chosen you to be the leader of your LifeGroup, and He will give you everything you need to lead through these conversations well.

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