Project HELP is an initiative of WMU that identifies a critical issue and seeks to raise the level of awareness of that issue and provide practical approaches anyone can implement to open the door for meeting needs and sharing the gospel.
Since the launch of Project HELP in 1994, WMU has focused on a variety of critical issues affecting the lives of millions including hunger, poverty, human exploitation, PTSD, and refugees. (Find information about our ongoing efforts here.)
Each Project HELP focus usually lasts 2–4 years. This timeframe gives churches time to raise awareness of the critical issue in their congregations, study the prevalence and impact of the issue in their communities and region, and determine how best to go about meeting the needs of those impacted by the issue while opening doors to share the gospel with other community workers as well as those in need.
Project HELP: Mental Health (2022–26)
What Is Mental Health?
Mental health is a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community.¹
Why Focus on Mental Health?
As Christians, we are called to encourage those around us with the love of Christ, walk alongside them through difficult seasons, and help them know the Lord is near.
God created humans with an innate need for one another. Community is an invitation to participate in life together, complete with all the differences that make us who we are as unique beings.
Though many in the local church can appreciate community in theory, its implementation and practice are often a different story. Many people experiencing mental health challenges and/or living with mental illness can testify to this fact.
Mental illness is simultaneously overlooked and often stigmatized in local church settings. According to Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research, a 2021 survey showed that “While preaching on mental illness is the norm and even more pastors feel their church is responsible to help the mentally ill, still 37% of pastors rarely or never bring it up from the pulpit.”²
This culture of silence must change for us to experience the community and connection God desires for us in the local church.
What Can We Do?
As Christians, we can uniquely respond to and support people experiencing mental health challenges. We can compassionately respond to their physical needs, encourage them to seek help for their mental and emotional needs, and share with them how to satisfy their spiritual needs through the eternal hope found in Jesus Christ.
But how? Where do we start?
That’s where Project HELP: Mental Health comes in.
Through Project HELP: Mental Health, WMU provides multiple avenues for churches to raise awareness of mental health as a critical issue in all of our lives and equip members to lead and champion mental health initiatives both in the church and in local communities.
Check out our current resources below!
MENTAL HEALTH: THE CHURCH’S RESPONSE
Do you want to learn more about the critical issue of mental health? Are you looking for effective ways to respond to those struggling with mental health challenges or to equip your church to address mental health within your congregation and community?
Take the online course Mental Health: The Church’s Response to discover more about mental health and ways to help those with mental health struggles.
You will be equipped with ongoing access to resources for leading a conference about mental health such as a PowerPoint presentation, presentation notes, flyers, and posters.
You will have 30 days from the day you register to complete the course, and will receive a link that will never expire for access to teaching resources that are updated periodically.
Click here to register for the course!
Disclaimer: The information shared on wmu.com is not meant to diagnose or treat a mental health condition. We encourage you to follow up with your health-care provider and seek a mental health professional for individual consultation and care.