This picture visualization shows what an Asian American church can do to demonstrate care for the mental health and mental wellness of its community, inside and outside of its church walls:
Let’s unpack the CAMH framework of these 5 ingredients listed in the previous update:
- “Sermons stop stigma” was a phrase coined by Dr. Ed Stetzer in a Plenary address at the Summit on the Church, Health, and Mental Health (Belhaven University, 2016). Dr. Stetzer noted, “People are getting better at talking about mental illness, but there is still a stigma. It is essential that we talk more about mental illness and the church.“
- Stories to erase shame. Dr. Brene Brown (best-selling author and shame researcher) has described how shame festers in silence, at least that’s how I’ve paraphrased it. The opposite of that to be honest in sharing our story vulnerably with someone safe, someone who will listen to our personal story with empathy and no judgement.
- Seminars to educate everyone with skills for mental health and wellness. After all, it’s part of the human condition that we all experience stress, anxiety, worry, sadness, grief, trauma, suffering; some may also have diagnosable disorders that can further helped with professional treatment through therapy and medication.
- Support groups to care for the hurting. Dr. Thomas Insel (previously Director for National Institute of Mental Health, and author of “Healing”) has discovered that recovery for mental health is not just medical, but social, built upon what he calls the three Ps—people, place, and purpose. And support groups can be that safe place for people to be with peers and have belonging, community, and meaningful purpose.
- Sabbath rhythm is both modeled by God the Creator and also commanded in the Ten Commandments, showing every person how to have a healthy pace of work and rest.
There are other models and frameworks for church and mental health. CAMH will share those that we find as we continue our collaboration with partners and curate resources. This is an open source process we’re embaring on, so we would do well and go farther as partners go together with us.
During the first month of our launching, DJ Chuang has already engaged with a dozen Asian American churches around the country to start the conversations for how we can come along side to co-create a continuum of care for each of their churches.
Most encouraging was a dinner meetup in Rockville, Maryland last week, that happened in a matter of hours after a church elder emailed CAMH with a simple question about partnering, “What’s the best path forward?” Our personalized concierge service is has started engaging with this church and we’ll share updates as the plan comes together.
We Need You to Co-Create with CAMH
As you might be able to see, we have very simple and unpolished look with what we’re doing so far. It’s an all-volunteer effort as this CAMH initiative starts up. We are praying for people who want to jump in as a graphic designer, website builder, social media, podcast team, outreach specialists, storytellers, resource curators, seminar trainers, non-English Asian language advocates, and so much more.
Pray with us about this. Contact us and share how you want to get involved: email [email protected] or call 949-243-7260.