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Mental Health and Your Church (ebook)

Mental Health and Your Church ebook

A Handbook for Biblical Care

from 8 reviews

Helping you and the whole church family understand, nurture and support those with mental-health conditions.

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Many people are struggling with mental-health conditions, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and life in our image-conscious culture. Statistics tell us that, worldwide, one in six of us will have experienced a mental-health struggle in the past week, and serious depression is the second-leading cause of disability (Mental Health Foundation).

That means there are brothers and sisters in our church families battling with thoughts, feelings, impulses, and even voices that distract, drag down, and nudge them towards despair. But when it comes to helping, it can be tricky to know where to begin, especially if we have very little knowledge of mental illnesses and are afraid of making things worse by saying and doing the wrong things.

This wise, compassionate, and practical book is written by Steve Midgley, who worked in psychiatry and then as a pastor and is now Executive Director of Biblical Counselling UK, and Helen Thorne, Director of Training and Resources at Biblical Counselling UK. It will help readers understand and respond with biblical wisdom to people who are struggling with their mental health.

While acknowledging the importance of liaising responsibly with medics and counsellors, this book focuses on equipping readers to play their part in making churches places where those who struggle with mental-health conditions are welcomed, understood, nurtured, and supported: a foretaste of the new creation.

This is a useful book for anyone who cares for others pastorally: pastors, elders, small-group leaders, and congregation members.

Product details


  • Introduction
    PART 1: Understanding Mental-Health Struggles
    1. Life in the Local Church
    2. What’s in a Diagnosis?
    3. Medication
    4. Talking Therapies
    5. Towards a Biblical Understanding of Mental Illness

  • PART 2: Responding to Mental-Health Struggles

  • 6. The Call to Raise Awareness
    7. The Call to Relate
    8. The Call to Root
    9. The Call to Refine
    10. The Call to Resource

  • PART 3: Common Mental-Health Struggles
    11. Depression
    12. Anxiety
    13. Psychosis
    14. Addictions


Contributors Steve Midgley, Helen Thorne–Allenson
ISBN 9781784987992
Format eBook
First published March 2023
Case quantity 50
Language English
Publisher The Good Book Company

Jonathan D. Holmes

Pastor of Counseling, Parkside Church, Chagrin Falls, Ohio; Author, Counsel for Couples

Steve and Helen have achieved the seemingly impossible task of taking a complex issue and framing it for a local church audience. This book brims with a helpful distillation of mental health—terms, definitions, explanations—while also presenting the beauty and depth of the gospel. Readers will be educated, encouraged, equipped, and edified for the privilege of caring for souls.

Rob Waller

Rob is a Consultant Psychiatrist working for the NHS. He is a founding director of The Mind and Soul Foundation. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife and two sons.

Knowing enough to help is really helpful. The church has a key role in supporting and welcoming people with mental health difficulties. To do so alongside the NHS means the church needs to know "enough" – not too much for we are not competing; but not nothing for there are past errors of over-spiritualising we can learn from. This book delivers just the right amount and then wraps it in a Biblical model to integrate this with our faith and see real change. Helpful indeed!

Christopher Ash

Writer in Residence, Tyndale House, Cambridge.

I am so grateful for this outstanding and timely book. Every church will benefit from reading it in book groups, as individuals, and in pastoral teams. The writing is warm, soaked in grace and informed by years of caring, listening, and loving. The content is intensely and realistically practical: I look forward to reading it again and learning to put it into practice.

Customer reviews

Aug. 12, 2023

“Very helpful and challenging”

(Review written for 'Mental Health and Your Church')

With the increase in mental health problems in society and inevitably in our churches, I wanted to find a clear and sensible Biblical guide to this health problem. A church should be somewhere people find a loving and Christlike welcome whatever their physical or mental health. This book gives a summary of common mental health issues and gives suggested approaches of how to help and support those suffering within our fellowship and those who might come in seeking help. Very practical and gives realistic ideas how we can help and direct people to Christ. I would recommend it.

May 18, 2023

“Excellent overview”

(Review written for 'Mental Health and Your Church')

Mental Health And Your Church seeks to help churches and Christian’s as they seek to help those believers who struggle with mental health.

I appreciated how the authors broke down exactly what is meant when mental health is brought up. There are several times-in our day in particular, where that phrase can seem
Overused and misunderstood. This was an excellent introduction to a subject I admit I knew very little about.

I think this could be a vital for churches and their leaders.

May 12, 2023

“A much-needed resource for the Church!”

(Review written for 'Mental Health and Your Church')

For reasons that I still don’t fully comprehend, mental health struggles and mental illness can be such taboo topics—especially amongst believers. I’m grateful for this book by Helen Thorne & Dr. Steve Midgley. This book is a much-needed resource for the Church. Their goal in writing this book was to equip ordinary Christians to walk alongside those in our local churches that suffer with mental health struggles.

In three sections, the authors help us to understand what mental illness is and why it’s so much more complex than physical illness. They also help us to gain a vision for how we as the body of Christ can best love and care for those in our congregations with mental health struggles. Finally, the authors give us practical application of those ways to love and care for our fellow church members.

This book was easy to read and the authors did a masterful job of providing us with tools that feel applicable and not overwhelming. This book needs to be in the hands of every church member! If there’s one place that should be free of stigma around mental health, it should be the Church. Highly recommend!!!

I received a copy of this book for free from The Good Book Company in exchange for this honest review.

April 22, 2023

“Incredibly practical!”

(Review written for 'Mental Health and Your Church')

For anyone that is in ministry or is confused about how to care for people in the church that struggle with mental illness this book will bless you. The authors do an incredible job explaining concisely how to care for God’s people in an effective way. They provided case studies and biblical insight concerning topics like anxiety, depression, addiction, and psychosis. Please get this book, it will bless you and your church.

I received a media copy of Mental Health and Your Church and this is my honest review.

April 12, 2023

“Expert Advice and Biblical”

(Review written for 'Mental Health and Your Church')

I've struggled to find a good book in this sort of price range that does both biblical wisdom and good practical advice. The books I've found before have either been almost medical textbooks but without a connection to God's Word, or they've been expositions of parts of the Bible but without the solid grounding of what this might look like in practice from a mental health expert. This book from Thorne and Midgley is the first I've found that does both, and without overstating what we can do. It covers some common mental health conditions, offers us advice about how to relate with people experiencing them and how to care for them well, as well as giving good signposting advice, encouraging us to not take on more than we can cope with or are capable of. I'd recommend this, especially to Christian pastors who are looking to understand mental health and perhaps even to resource their pastoral care team to better care for their congregations.

March 23, 2023

“Carefully Written and Practical”

(Review written for 'Mental Health and Your Church')

Every church member should read this book.

Mental health is such an important issue that needs to be addressed in the church.

I am so grateful that this book now exists. It is written to be a handbook for biblical care for the body fo Christ on how to create a supportive community for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are struggling with mental health issues.

It did not shy away from topics like medication, therapy or even different types of mental diagnoses.

It is very objective and speaks to all sides and viewpoints when it comes to mental health amongst Christians.

Often times people think these things can be prayed away or a result of just not being in scripture enough or some recurring sin, while others can go so far on the clinical side and disregard that scripture can be an encouragement to those battling mental health.

It is split into three sections:

PART 1: Understanding Mental-Health Struggles

PART 2: Responding to Mental-Health Struggles

PART 3: Common Mental-Health Struggles

The authors' really carefully approached this subject and I really appreciated that.

This is a valuable resource for church leaders and members alike.

Overall, this book would benefit anyone seeking to understand and support those with mental health struggles in their church community.

Highly recommend!

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review

March 21, 2023

“Excellent, Unique, and Deeply Practical”

(Review written for 'Mental Health and Your Church')

This excellent book about a timely topic will help church leaders and members understand and support people struggling with mental health issues. The book explains core concepts related to mental illness and treatment, helps readers relate this to a biblical view of humanity, and shows what people can do in their churches to raise awareness and provide practical assistance. The final section includes example case studies of this.

Helen Thorne and Dr. Steve Midgley write with great compassion and practical insight. They encourage churches to partner with mental health professionals instead of taking on burdens they aren’t equipped for, but also warn against outsourcing all care and not providing the practical, relational, and spiritual support that suffering church members need.

The authors gently challenging stigma, and also acknowledge helpers who suffer from compassion fatigue. As they empower church members to make a difference in people's lives, the authors suggest ways that churches can prevent or repair unhealthy dynamics in helping relationships, such as creating teams of people who help someone with different things. This protects individual helpers from burnout, and protects people needing help from feeling abandoned when someone is overwhelmed. The authors also include helpful insights for how pastors and church members can handle spiritual trauma cases where people have experienced rejection at previous churches or find the Bible triggering because of others' misuse of it.

"Mental Health and Your Church" is an excellent book for church leaders and members. It could be even better with information about additional mental struggles, but the authors repeatedly acknowledge the book's limited scope. They knew that they couldn't speak to everything, but still provided wide-ranging insight and practical ideas for positive, lasting change in church communities.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

March 13, 2023

“Caring in Practice”

(Review written for 'Mental Health and Your Church')

How can the church come alongside God’s people in their mental health struggles? In Mental Health and Your Church, Helen Thorne and Steve Midgley present a handbook for Biblical care.

We must all be aware of mental-health conditions exacerbated by the pandemic. It is something not really talked about in my Asian American church context. This book is a welcome help, full of wisdom and practical tips for helping those who are hurting.

Biblical Understanding

What I most appreciate about this book is that it is comprehensive in what it is trying to accomplish. Section 1 helps you better understand mental illness, looking at diagnoses, developing a biblical understanding, medication, and talking therapies.

Section 2 asks: What can we do? The church has a specific call to raise awareness, relate, remember, refine, and practically resource. As a youth Sunday School teacher, I was convinced I need to do more in regard to mental-health awareness. I can help my students feel welcome, safe, and hopeful while helping them see God as fundamentally good, gracious, and kind.

Caring in Practice

Section 3 looks at caring in practice, using case studies of anxiety, depression, addiction, and psychosis. Using Scripture and working through the Gospel can help others see their identity in Christ more clearly.

This book acknowledges the importance of professionals, but also equips the church for service. Pastors and church leaders would be prudent to read this book. Sunday School teachers, youth counselors, and small group leaders will feel better prepared to help their people. God cares about the whole person, and so should the church. This book is a useful help.

I received a media copy of Mental Health and Your Church and this is my honest review.

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Mental Health and Your Church (ebook) | Steve Midgley, Helen Thorne–Allenson |
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