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It's the Mental Health Disabilities That Keep Kids Out of Church

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Dr. Steve Grcevich's presentation from the Together Special Needs Conference at Mount Paran Church examines research on the association between common disabilities and church attendance in children and teens, identifies seven common barriers to church attendance for families impacted by mental illness and introduces a model for mental health ministry applicable to churches of all sizes and denominations.

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  • DOWNLOAD FULL. BOOKS INTO AVAILABLE FORMAT, ......................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. PDF EBOOK here { https://tinyurl.com/y8nn3gmc } ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. EPUB Ebook here { https://tinyurl.com/y8nn3gmc } ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. doc Ebook here { https://tinyurl.com/y8nn3gmc } ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. PDF EBOOK here { https://tinyurl.com/y8nn3gmc } ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. EPUB Ebook here { https://tinyurl.com/y8nn3gmc } ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. doc Ebook here { https://tinyurl.com/y8nn3gmc } ......................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................... .............. Browse by Genre Available eBooks ......................................................................................................................... Art, Biography, Business, Chick Lit, Children's, Christian, Classics, Comics, Contemporary, Cookbooks, Crime, Ebooks, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novels, Historical Fiction, History, Horror, Humor And Comedy, Manga, Memoir, Music, Mystery, Non Fiction, Paranormal, Philosophy, Poetry, Psychology, Religion, Romance, Science, Science Fiction, Self Help, Suspense, Spirituality, Sports, Thriller, Travel, Young Adult,
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It's the Mental Health Disabilities That Keep Kids Out of Church

  1. 1. It’s the Mental Health Disabilities That Keep Kids Out of Church! Stephen Grcevich, MD Child and Adolescent Psychiatry President and Founder, Key Ministry Presented at Together Special Needs Conference Mount Paran Church, Atlanta GA March 9, 2019
  2. 2. What we’ll learn today • Examine recent research on the association between common disabilities in children and adolescents and family church attendance • Identify seven common barriers to church attendance among families of kids with common mental health conditions • Discuss the limitations of “special needs ministry” in supporting children and teens with mental health-related disability • Introduce a model for an effective mental health inclusion strategy in your church.
  3. 3. How do chronic health conditions in children and teens impact attendance at religious services? • Data analyzed from three waves of the National Survey of Children’s Health • Three samples (2003, 2007, 2011-12) of phone surveys of approximately 100,000 families of children ages 0-17 • Examined the relationship between a range of disabilities and families who identify as “never” attending a religious service Whitehead AL. J Scientific Study Religion 2018;57(2)377-395.
  4. 4. Who’s missing from church? 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2 Autism Depression TBI ODD/Conduct Anxiety Speech LD ADHD Odds of not attending church vs. kids without disabilities Odds of not attending church Whitehead AL. J ScientificStudy Religion 2018;57(2)377-395.
  5. 5. Who’s missing from church? • Children with autism spectrum disorders are 1.84 times more likely to never attend church. • Children with depression are 1.73 times more likely to never attend church. • Children with Conduct Disorder/Oppositional Defiant Disorder are 1.55 times more likely to never attend church. • Children with anxiety are 1.45 times more likely to never attend church. • Children with learning disabilities are 1.36 times more likely to never attend church. • Kids with ADD/ADHD are 1.19 times more likely to never attend church. Whitehead AL. J ScientificStudy Religion 2018;57(2)377-395.
  6. 6. Conditions NOT associated with lower church attendance • Asthma • Diabetes • Tourette’s Disorder • Epilepsy • Hearing problems • Vision problems • Intellectual disability • Cerebral palsy Whitehead AL. J ScientificStudy Religion 2018;57(2)377-395.
  7. 7. A different way of thinking about mental health ministry How do we connect churches and families impacted by mental illness for the purpose of making disciples of Jesus Christ? • Why mental illness is different from other disabilities • Why church is difficult • What would a mental health inclusion model for churches look like?
  8. 8. Can someone be “disabled” at church and function well in other life activities?
  9. 9. Why is church so difficult for families impacted by mental illness? • Attributes of common mental conditions produce challenges in environments where ministry takes place. • Church culture – how we expect people to act when we gather together
  10. 10. A population too big to ignore? Prevalence of common mental health conditions in teens 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Anxiety Depression ADHD PTSD Prevalence Severe Impairment Source: National Institute of Mental Health
  11. 11. A foundation for a mental health inclusion ministry model • Recognition of how non-essential attributes of our ministry environments and practices interfere with participation for children and adults with common mental health conditions • Implementing strategies across your ministry environments to help individuals and families join activities most critical for spiritual growth.
  12. 12. Seven barriers to including families impacted by mental illness at church… • Stigma • Anxiety • Capacity for self- control • Sensory processing • Social communication • Social isolation • Past experiences of church
  13. 13. Stigma WHAT THEN IS WRONG WITH THE “MENTALLY ILL?” THEIR PROBLEM IS AUTOGENIC; IT IS WITHIN THEMSELVES. Jay Adams • Mental illness defined as sin, parenting problem • If it’s not a disability, why would disability ministry serve them? • Widespread perception they’re not welcome at church
  14. 14. One parent’s lament… “People in the church believe they can tell when a disability ends and bad parenting begins.”
  15. 15. A perception that persons with mental illness aren’t welcome…
  16. 16. Anxiety CORE DIFFERENCE: PEOPLE WITH ANXIETY MISPERCEIVE RISK IN UNFAMILIAR SITUATIONS • Social anxiety • Separation anxiety • Agoraphobia Fears specific to church: • Fear of scrutiny • Performance worries • Anxiety results from lack of faith
  17. 17. Meet the Phillips Family How would your church serve them? • Josh is “neurotypical.” His friend from school invited him to your VBS. Josh had a great time and wants to come every Sunday. • Jennifer (daughter) struggles with separation anxiety • Tammy (mother) has social anxiety disorder and agoraphobia What challenges might they face the first time they attend a weekend worship service at your church?
  18. 18. Self-control COGNITIVE ABILITIES INVOLVED IN MODULATING OTHER ABILITIES AND BEHAVIORS • Behavioral inhibition • Verbal working memory • Non-verbal working memory • Emotional self- regulation • Reconstitution
  19. 19. The more they have to process, the less capacity they have for self-control
  20. 20. Sensory processing NOISE, LIGHT, TOUCH, SMELLS AND TASTE EXPERIENCED AS AVERSIVE THAT OTHERS FIND ENGAGING Challenges for kids: • Pick up and drop-off times • High energy worship • Aggression Challenges for adults: • Greeting times (hugging, handshakes) • High-energy worship • Multiple conversations in close proximity
  21. 21. Social communication CHALLENGES AT CHURCH FOR PERSONS WHO STRUGGLE TO PICK UP ON SOCIAL CUES • Body language • Tone, inflection of voice • Facial expressions Church-specific challenges: • Small groups • Small talk • Bullies • Unfamiliar situations
  22. 22. Social isolation HOW DO FAMILIES FIND YOUR CHURCH IF THEY DON’T CONNECT WITH FAMILIES ATTENDING YOUR CHURCH? • Kids seen as less desirable friends • Less involved in extracurricular activities • Time, financial burdens of pursuing treatment • Lack of affordable child care leaves parents with fewer social outlets
  23. 23. Past experiences THE APPLE OFTEN DOESN’T FALL FAR FROM THE TREE! • Children of parents with bad (or no) church experiences aren’t going to church • Kids depend on parents for transportation • Parents have mental health issues too! • Inconsistent attenders?
  24. 24. Why special needs ministry models don’t work with this population • Stigma and confidentiality concerns make parents, adults reluctant to self-disclose • Kids and teens will FLEE any activity that identifies them as “different” • What most kids and adults with common mental health conditions want is to be included in what everyone else is doing!
  25. 25. Why has the church ignored the need for mental health inclusion? • Stigma • Failure to recognize impacts of common conditions on church involvement • Variable understanding about mental illness among pastors, church leaders • We haven’t had a ministry model!
  26. 26. What might our planning process look like? • Leaders in each ministry area might identify potential barriers, useful strategies within their area of responsibility. • An alternate approach might be to focus on a strategy (or several strategies) and implement the strategy across your ministry departments or environments. • Assigning responsibility for the plan (or components of the plan) with deadlines for implementation important.
  27. 27. Mental Health Ministry is Family Ministry!
  28. 28. Seven strategies for promoting mental health inclusion at church (TEACHER) • Assemble your inclusion team • Create welcoming ministry environments. • Focus on ministry activities most essential to spiritual growth • Communicate effectively • Help families with their most heartfelt needs • Offer education and support • Empower your people to assume responsibility for ministry
  29. 29. Key considerations for an effective mental health inclusion strategy… • Inclusion is a mindset – not a program • A good strategy benefits everyone and doesn’t require anyone to self-identify • Ministry is owned by staff and students • No church will be able to include everyone with mental illness, but every church can do more to be more welcoming and inclusive
  30. 30. Taking the Next Step…Together
  31. 31. Key Ministry promotes meaningful connection between churches and families of kids with disabilities for the purpose of making disciples of Jesus Christ. Free training, consultation, support and resources What Does Key Ministry Do?
  32. 32. Coming Alongside Your Ministry
  33. 33. Help from Key Ministry • Training • Conferences (Inclusion Fusion Live –April 5-6) • Video training • Book study • Consultation • Available to church, ministry teams • Resources • Networking with other ministries • Social media, sermon videos, research to support your ministry • Support
  34. 34. Connect with Key Ministry • www.keyministry.org • Twitter: @KeyMinistry • www.facebook.com/keyministry • www.keyministry.org/contact/

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