The Center for Disease Control estimates that 25 percent or more of all adults in the U.S. may develop some form of mental illness in their lifetime. Mental illness can affect persons from all walks of life, regardless of belief or lack of belief in Christ. The church is often the first place people turn to for help and guidance; hence, the church is positioned to bring hope and healing to those seeking help and direction with life’s most difficult issues and challenges.
Sometimes, churches feel unprepared or lacking in resources to effectively deal with mental illness. Hence, many church communities like Saddleback Church in California and others around the country are beginning to host events and conferences designed to educate the church about mental illness- what it is, what it is not, how to recognize it and how to help.
The Psychiatry Section of Christian Medical & Dental Association (CMDA) is a national organization of psychiatrists who share Christian beliefs and values, a commitment to living out their faith through service and medical practice and a strong understanding of the need to care for the whole person- physical, mental and spiritual. The CMDA Psychiatry Section will be holding its annual meeting in Atlanta this year, bringing a number of Christian psychiatrists to the Atlanta area-providing a unique resource to support an event for the local church and Christian community.
As such, CMDA will be participating in a forum called Mental Health and the Church Forum - Atlanta. The event will bring together local clergy and Christian psychiatrists for a serious, informed discussion of mental illness, its presence in the church and the need to have an open dialogue and understanding within the broader church. The forum is intended to be informational in nature, discussion oriented and focused on equipping the church. We plan on discussing some of the most common mental health conditions and highlight resources (local and web-based) available to clergy, lay leaders and the congregation. This forum is not intended to provide treatment, but rather to begin resourcing clergy and care ministry leaders who can then touch their congregations.
For more information about this event contact Marshall Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.