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Including Kids and Teens With Mental Illness in the Church and Community

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In my talk, I plan to discuss how the church can do a better job reaching out to, and including kids and teens with mental illness and their families into the church. Mental illness represents (by far and away) the most common category of disabling conditions impacting kids and teens in the U.S. For many, the environments in which we “do church” present subtle, but very real barriers to participation and their families. Existing disability or “special needs” ministries typically don’t serve kids with mental illness in the absence of significant intellectual disability. I’ll discuss Key Ministry’s experiments with alternative ministry strategies and models to help churches effectively share the love of Christ with families of kids with “hidden disabilities.”

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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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Including Kids and Teens With Mental Illness in the Church and Community

  1. 1. Stephen Grcevich, MD Director of Strategic Initiatives, Key Ministry Global Access Conference presented by Joni and Friends Calvary Community Church, Westlake Village, CA February 20, 2015 Including Kids and Teens With Mental Illness in the Church & Community
  2. 2. See a different world…  Mental illnesses as “hidden disabilities”  A different paradigm for thinking about disability  Barriers to church/community inclusion?  Strategies for overcoming barriers  Next steps…
  3. 3. What comes to mind when you think about “disability?”
  4. 4. How we view disability ministry…
  5. 5. How we view special needs ministry…
  6. 6. Most childhood disabilities are “hidden disabilities”  Significant emotional, behavioral, developmental or neurologic conditions lacking outwardly apparent physical symptoms.  You can’t spot “hidden disabilities” in a still photograph.
  7. 7. Common “hidden disabilities”  ADHD  Anxiety Disorders  Attachment (RAD, Disinhibited Social Engagement) Disorders  Autism spectrum disorders  Bipolar Disorder  Depression  Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder  Learning disorders  PTSD  Social pragmatic language disorder  Sensory processing disorder
  8. 8. How common is mental illness in U.S. kids?  22% identified with at least one mental disorder  11% have been treated with ADHD medication  8-12% of teens experience anxiety disorders  13% identified with developmental disorders  The majority of the 1 in 68 kids diagnosed with autism are of average/superior intelligence! Carter, AS et al. J. Am Acad. Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2010;49(7): 686-698 Visser et al. J Am Acad. Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2014;53(1): 34-46 http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/anxiety-disorders-in-children-and-adolescents/index.shtml Boulet, SL, Boyle CA, Schieve, LA. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2009;163(1):19-26. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html
  9. 9. Kids with mental illness are disabled in some, but not all environments… “It is our culture that disables.” “When one is disabled, the problem is not really that they have impairments and social skill deficits. The issue at stake is that they live in an ‘ableist’ culture that rarely affords them the space or opportunity to make their unique contribution to society and does not lift up the value of choosing them as friends.” Ben Conner…Amplifying Our Witness (2012)
  10. 10. Inclusion barriers are different for kids with mental illness
  11. 11. What are the barriers? Church, school, community… Where does she fit in?  Social isolation  Social communication  Self-regulation capacity  Sensory processing  Stigma  Fear of being singled out  Parents with disabilities
  12. 12. Social isolation… Church, school, community… Where does he fit in?  Difficulty making, keeping friends  Fewer extracurricular activities  Child care for “parent nights out”
  13. 13. Social communication… Church, school, community… Where does he fit in?  Are social skills important at church?  The role of anxiety  Transitions between age-grouped ministries, activities
  14. 14. Emotional self-regulation… Church, school, community… Where does he fit in?  Capacity to hide observable aspects of behavior…executive function  Why “structure” helps
  15. 15. Sensory Processing… Church, school, community… What they experience…  Common in ADHD, anxiety, OCD, autism  More not always better  Transition times difficult
  16. 16. Stigma… Church, school, community… What then, is wrong with the “mentally ill”? Their problem is autogenic; it is in themselves… Jay Adams  Mental illness as sin, a parenting problem  Cultural perception that they’re not welcome at church  Bullying worse for kids with more subtle disabilities  If it’s not a disability, why would disability ministry serve them?
  17. 17. The fear of being singled out… Church, school, community… Where does he fit in?  Desperate need to not be different!  Kids, families FLEE special education/special needs
  18. 18. Parents with mental illness… Church, school, community… Where do they fit in?  The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!  Parents who struggle with executive functioning?  Kids depend on parents for transportation  Inconsistent attenders?
  19. 19. Solutions?  Mindset vs. program  “Go and tell” vs. “come and see”  Serve their families  Key…personal relationships  Welcoming environments  Role for technology  Individualized discipleship  Online church?
  20. 20. Meet the Phillips Family… Jennifer is raising Aidan (age 9) and Emma (age 6). Aiden was invited to your VBS by a school friend and wants to come to church every Sunday and Wednesday night. Aidan takes medication for ADHD and receivers special education services for dyslexia. Emma struggles with separation anxiety Jennifer has social anxiety disorder and agoraphobia What barriers might they face in regularly attending church? Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net An inclusion exercise…
  21. 21. Obstacles to “doing church”… Jennifer:  What might her initial fears about visiting be?  How many people does she need to speak with?  What if it’s crowded?  Is she expected to join a small group? Emma:  What if kids are discouraged from entering the worship center?  What if she melts down at children’s ministry drop-off? Aidan:  When might he experience challenges with self-control?  Will any activity embarrass him?  How might his needs differ on Wednesday night?
  22. 22. Takeaway points…  Kids with mental illness and their families represent disability ministry’s greatest outreach opportunity.  A mindset…not a program  Focus on overcoming barriers to social connection, communication  Design environments that promote self- regulation, minimize anxiety  No church/school/organization can do everything, but every church can do something!
  23. 23. Key Ministry provides knowledge, innovation and experience to the worldwide church as it ministers to and with families of children impacted by mental illness, trauma and developmental disabilities. What Does Key Ministry Do?
  24. 24. Stay in Touch! Key Ministry Website: http://www.keyministry.org Church4EveryChild…Key Ministry Blog: http://www.church4everychild.org Key Training Channel/Front Door Online Church Platform: http://www.keyministry.tv www http://www.facebook.com/keyministry http://www.pinterest.com/keyministry/ http://twitter.com/#!/drgrcevich http://twitter.com/#!/KeyMinistry
  25. 25. Additional Resources:  Resource page on ADHD and spiritual development (includes video from Dr. Russ Barkley) http://drgrcevich.wordpress.com/teaching-series-adhd-and-spiritual- development/  Resource page on anxiety and spiritual development http://drgrcevich.wordpress.com/resource-page-anxiety-and-spiritual-development/  Resource page on Asperger’s Disorder and spiritual development (includes video of 2012 Children’s Ministry Web Summit presentation) http://drgrcevich.wordpress.com/resource-page-anxiety-and-spiritual-development/  Resource page on Pediatric Bipolar Disorder (includes link to 2010 Grand Rounds presentation at Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron) http://drgrcevich.wordpress.com/pediatric-bipolar-disorder-a-guide-for-childrens-and- youth-pastors-and-volunteers/  The Mission Field Next Door (2011 Inclusion Fusion presentation with Katie Wetherbee) http://youtu.be/PshzmYircCo

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