When people experience mental health challenges, many will turn to the church first for help. That is why Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries has created a course that will help churches to be better equipped when people are in need.

Daniel Whitehead is the CEO of Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries. He says it is important for churches, and especially pastors, to be equipped to help those who live with mental health challenges.

"At a point of a mental health crisis, many people ask the big questions, and they turn to spirituality for answers. I think we have to be ready to give good answers," said Whitehead. "The answers we give can dictate how quickly someone's healing journey can take place."

Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries recently released a revised and improved version of their flagship resource, The Sanctuary Course.

The Sanctuary Course was created to equip churches to deal with mental health struggles. It was developed in consultation with mental health professionals, theologians, and people with lived experience. This eight-session study guide explores mental health topics and examines meaningful ways to offer companionship, support recovery, and promote wellbeing.

"The mental health conversation involves every human being on the planet because we all have mental health," Daniel explained. "The question is, is our mental health currently flourishing? Or is it languishing? And what tools can we learn to help us navigate periods of languishing?"

"The course is there to help all people, so we're ready to offer support to each other, and we're ready to offer support to ourselves when that point of crisis comes because I've never met a human being that planned to be diagnosed with a mental illness. No one plans this, but sometimes it happens, and we need to be ready."

Today on Connections, Daniel shares how he went from a burnt-out pastor to CEO of a mental health ministry. He'll also share a bit about the ministry and why it is important to equip churches to deal with mental health challenges.