A growing number of churchgoers are turning to their church for help with mental health issues. However, many pastors and church leaders feel ill-equipped and unsure about how best to support their members in this area.

With the increase in mental health issues over the past two years, and the fact that people are more comfortable going to their church rather than to medical professionals for support, there is more need now than ever for ministry leaders to be educated and empowered.

In addition, recent studies show that approximately 70 percent of church attendees will experience a trauma at some point in their life and more than 30 percent of pastors are at high or medium risk of burnout. Even as leaders serve, they must safeguard their own mental health.

That’s why Spiritual First Aid is joining forces with Hope Made Strong to present the Church Mental Health Summit. This free online event for church leaders is a one-day Summit that will be available on-demand Monday, October 10th from 7:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. ET.

Laura Howe, founder of Hope Made Strong and The Care Ministry podcast, started the event to give free access to top-tier training to any church that desired it. “It’s an honor and privilege to collaborate with Spiritual First Aid in presenting a gathering of world-class speakers, pastors, and those with lived experience to equip the Church around the globe,” Laura says.

By attending the Church Mental Health Summit, participants will be equipped with practical tools, engage with Biblically-based resources, and learn research-developed strategies to support mental health. The Summit’s presentations are organized into 4 tracks: Global Health, Community Health, Church Health, and Leadership Health. Sessions are open to all participants for free on October 10th.

Presenters include prominent industry leaders in faith and mental health, such as:

  • Dr. Diane Langburg - Psychologist and international speaker

  • Dr. Karl Benzio - Medical Director, American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC)

  • Dr. Matthew Stanford - CEO, Hope and Healing Center & Institute

  • Cheryl Nembhard - Founder and Soul Care Coach, The Lighthouse Project

  • Dr. Gregg Jantz - Founder, The Center A Place of HOPE

  • Michelle Neihart - Licensed Professional Counselor, Your Mental Health Coach

  • Kobe Campbell - CEO & Lead Therapist, The Healing Circle

  • JS Park - Hospital chaplain, published author, and viral blogger

  • Brad Hoefs - Founder and Executive Director, Fresh Hope

  • Rich Villodas - Lead pastor, New Life Fellowship Church

  • Dr. Xavier Amador - President, LEAP Institute

  • Marty Sawyers - President & CEO, Full Strength Network

  • Steve Grcevich - President and Founder, Key Ministry

  • Daniel Whitehead - CEO, Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries

  • Kayla Stoecklein - Widow, Author, & Advocate, Rebuilding Beautiful

  • Thad Austin - Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives and Congregational Engagement, Duke University

Upon registering, summit-goers will receive access to a password-protected website with sessions available on October 10th. For those who wish to view sessions after the event for staff training and volunteer onboarding, a $79 all-access pass is required. Purchasing an all-access pass gives lifetime access to all the summit videos.

Additional information and registration for the event are available HERE.

Jamie Aten and Kent Annan co-direct the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College. Follow them on Twitter at @drjamieaten and @kentannan.