How the church can help you gain or maintain mental health

How the church can help you gain or maintain mental health

"Three months into the coronavirus pandemic, America is on the verge of another health crisis, with daily doses of death, isolation and fear generating widespread psychological trauma. Federal agencies and experts warn that a historic wave of mental health problems is approaching: depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide." -- Washington Post, May 4, 2020

We are called to health in every way, not least of all mental health. We have resources to help many others, as well. So let's do our soul work (Romans. 7:22-3). Let's overcome our broken ways of relating (1 John 4:16). Let's access joy (John 10:10). Attending to our mental health is a spiritual discipline. In the church that discipline is encouraged and guided by people with spiritual gifts to help us deepen our lives. We all have a part to play in the Lord's goal to give us abundant life and spread that redemption throughout creation.

The church is the first place to look for help

Look around our church for what God has provided. We hope we have built a psychologically healthy church that is a safe place to grow and has many resources available for your mental health. If you take all these opportunities seriously, you can receive and offer a lot of help long before you access professional service.

Live in a safe place

You can find acceptance for who you are right now.

Function face to face

You can be known and loved in cells and our small congregations. We are able to deliver pastoral care tailored to the needs of each individual.

Practice dialogue

We help one another process the inevitable conflict that comes with being closely related. We are taught to relate in ways that help us recover from trauma.

Dare to fail and be helped to succeed

We are free to risk and experiment. Our cells and teams have a right to come to an end, so we learn to grieve, recover and begin again..

Enjoy transparency

We don't have an inner circle that keeps secrets. Our meetings are open, our distinctives are clear. This emboldens us to be vulnerable, ourselves.

Feel empowered to work out your problems

We work for reconciliation. When troubled people and relationships get out of control, we try to contain them in a loving circle where people get a chance to get to the next step.

Experience a trust system

We are all learning to live in covenant love. It helps us make healthy attachments and recover from isolation and past relationship and family problems.

Learn the ways of spiritual self-care

Our meetings are suffused with contemplative practices and wisdom which lessen anxiety and open us to new understanding of ourselves and God. Our Gifts for Growing are stocked with teaching and experiences to help us grow in grace, wisdom and healthy relationships.

Use destigmatized psychotherapy

We do not shame people for getting help. We encourage it and subsidize it. We are working to integrate the best of psychotherapy with our faith.

We can help one another find the most helpful professional services


Circle Counseling is a collection of independent therapists directed by a covenant member, Dr. Gwen White. We have an agreement to receive subsidized care for qualified people. Our therapists can also refer you to other professionals and resources you might need.

Community resources

Visit a Voluntary Crisis Center when a person is in danger to self/others or needs a deeper level of care. Your therapist or family can take you. These are open 24/7 and you can call with questions or ask to speak with a crisis counselor.

Here are emergency numbers and resources from the Philadelphia Office of Mental Health, available 24 hours/day, 215-686-4420

Online Resources

Many of us go online to figure out if we are sick. It is better to seek help face-to-face, but here are general places to start.

Online Crisis Centers

Assessments -- these are general tools to see what kind of problem you might be facing.