Religious institutions offer so much more than a belief system or place of prayer. They frequently provide other crucial services to the community, such as daycare, food assistance programs, recreational activities, and of course, educational initiatives. Many religious institutions play an ongoing role in teaching their community about traditions, history, sacred texts and ways of existing righteously. But there’s no need for educational opportunities to be limited to those topics.
Invest in creating and disseminating helpful mental health materials to the community. Print out brochures, fliers and workbooks about common disorders, symptoms and treatment options. Share educational videos and articles with members. Host presentations and workshops that discuss mental health, mindfulness and how to help one another. If you’re in a leadership position, find funding for training courses, mentorship programs or treatment assistance programs. If you’re not, reach out to other members to discuss fighting for the resources you’d find helpful. You can also dedicate your own time to starting a support group, hosting art nights or other healing-based activities, or sharing materials that you’ve found informative. Lastly, any childhood education programs should add mental health content and lesson plans to their agenda so children are introduced to the topic early on.