Mental Health and the Church: A Ministry Handbook for Including Children and Adults with ADHD, Anxiety, Mood Disorders, and Other Common Mental Health Conditions
ISBN 10: 031053481X
ISBN 13: 978-0310534815
The church across North America has struggled to minister effectively with children, teens, and adults with common mental health conditions and their families. One reason for the lack of ministry is the absence of a widely accepted model for mental health outreach and inclusion.
In Mental Health and the Church: A Ministry Handbook for Including Children and Adults with ADHD, Anxiety, Mood Disorders, and Other Common Mental Health Conditions, Dr. Stephen Grcevich presents a simple and flexible model for mental health inclusion ministry for implementation by churches of all sizes, denominations, and organizational styles. The model is based upon recognition of seven barriers to church attendance and assimilation resulting from mental illness: stigma, anxiety, self-control, differences in social communication and sensory processing, social isolation and past experiences of church. Seven broad inclusion strategies are presented for helping persons of all ages with common mental health conditions and their families to fully participate in all of the ministries offered by the local church. The book is also designed to be a useful resource for parents, grandparents and spouses interested in promoting the spiritual growth of loved ones with mental illness.
In this thoughtful, compassionate, and practical book, Stephen Grcevich provides a great resource destined to facilitate careful and thoughtful reflection on key issues and a faithful pastoral response that is relevant for every Christian community. Dr. Grcevich has done a real service for church. (DR. JOHN SWINTON, Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies, University of Aberdeen)
Dr. Grcevich does not ask us to be perfect, but he does ask us to do what we can. And for most of us, there is much more we can do to welcome people who struggle to find their place among us. This book outlines a realistic, practical approach to inclusion, informed by expert knowledge and experience. It’s a must-read for every church leader. (AMY SIMPSON, author of Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission)
Dr. Steve Grcevich offers the perfect blend of a psychiatrist’s perspective with a ministry leader’s heart for the ministry of hope to those with mental health challenges. Not only does he identify the barriers within the church culture for those with mental health issues, but he also provides achievable strategies that empower the church to include those with mental health challenges. (PASTOR BRAD HOEFS, founder of Fresh Hope for Mental Health)
This book is a rare find. Dr. Grcevich expertly combines medical information, research, and practical solutions to create a clear path to understanding and inclusion. I predict that well-worn, dog-eared copies will be on the desks of pastors, elders, and Christian educators everywhere. The church will grow in strength and beauty as a result. (KATIE WETHERBEE, learning specialist, Notre Dame College)
Mental Health and the Church is an eminently readable and informative book on a topic the church has ignored for far too long. Dr. Grcevich uses his expertise as a child psychiatrist to replace our misconceptions about mental illness and sin with truth. This book holds a place of prominence on my bookshelf, and I will recommend it often in the future. (JOLENE PHILO, author of Does My Child Have PTSD? and coauthor of Every Child Welcome: A Ministry Handbook for Including Kids with Special Needs.)
Too many people with mental illness have been sitting in the back pews of churches, if they are even there at all, for far too long. Mental Health and the Church shines a light on a topic that has largely been in the dark. It’s educational, biblical, and, thankfully, practical. This book is an answer to prayer. (GILLIAN MARCHENKO, author of Still Life: A Memoir of Living Fully with Depression)
When I think of people who help churches become safe places for children and adolescents with special needs and hidden disabilities, Dr. Grcevich is the first person who comes to mind. I don’t know of anyone in the landscape of today’s church who is pioneering these kinds of initiatives and innovative programs. Mental Health and the Church will help teachers, counselors, pastors, and caregivers think deeply and biblically about caring for the least of those among us. (JONATHAN HOLMES, pastor of counseling, Parkside Church, and executive director, Fieldstone Counseling)
I’m deeply grateful for Dr. Grcevich and his passion for the church to minister well to people impacted by mental illness. There are few trials as painful and few topics as misunderstood. Dr. Grcevich helps crack the code, casting a biblical vision for the body of Christ to minister to people struggling with mental health challenges and to the families who love them. (KELLY ROSATI, vice president, Advocacy for Children, Focus on the Family)
This book is long overdue as a truly fresh perspective on an ancient problem. I believe this book will become an industry standard in helping churches minister more compassionately and effectively to children and their families. This is a must-read for all who care about seeing the church meet the needs of many who are hurting and need the gospel. (JAMIE RASMUSSEN, senior pastor, Scottsdale Bible Church)
About the Author
Dr. Stephen Grcevich (MD, Northeast Ohio Medical University) served as he founding Board President of Key Ministry and currently serves the ministry as Director of Strategic Initiatives. He has extensive research experience evaluating medications prescribed to children and teens for ADHD, anxiety, and depression. Dr. Grcevich has been a presenter at over 35 national and international medical conferences and is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). He regularly blogs at Church4EveryChild and frequently speaks at national and international ministry conferences on mental health and spiritual development.