Resilient Church Leaders, Half 1: Clinically Associated Ideas The trade
Question 1: How do you differentiate between depression and burnout??
It is important to understand how these concepts are different but linked. Depression is persistent mental health that is characterized by changes in the way a person thinks, expresses their emotions, and functions physically (e.g., an increase or decrease in appetite, sleep disorders, and inconsistent bowel movements). Depression is often expressed by a person's ubiquitous sadness, loss of interest in normally pleasurable activities, or increased irritability.
"Burnout", on the other hand, is described as a persistent negative reaction to emotional and social difficulties at work. These negative reactions can include things like fatigue, cynicism, and most often the feeling of being ineffective and discouraged while working. Burnout appears to be most common in jobs that involve helping others, such as on duty.
Although depression and burnout share the experience of negative emotions, one can say with certainty that depression has a broader impact on people's lives. Depression affects all aspects of a person's life, while burnout mainly affects a person's work.
Question 2: How does a pastor know when he is overwhelmed with offering help and has to refer a person to clinical care?
There are two ways a pastor or church leader can make a quick and decisive decision. First, if a pastor has concerns about the physical safety of a parishioner, that person needs "clinical care" (e.g., the emergency room, psychologist, psychiatrist, or counselor). The type of clinical care recommended depends on the extent to which a community is for itself or for other people.
Second, professional mental health services are recommended when biological factors (e.g. thyroid disease or traumatic brain injury) or complex systems (e.g. racism, sexism, classicism) adversely affect a community's well-being.
As a reminder: Pastors are commissioned reporters together with other experts who work with vulnerable sections of the population. Mandated reporters are required by law to report observed or suspected abuse to the appropriate authorities (e.g. the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services). However, these requirements vary from state to state. In a way, pastors take good care of themselves by referring parishioners to mental health professionals when they feel overwhelmed by their needs. For example, when a pastor transfers a church member to a psychologist, he can focus his energy more effectively on nurturing the church's spiritual growth.
Question 3: Are there certain areas of counseling in which you would recommend the pastor NOT to get involved?
It takes humility to realize that there are some places where some people are not well equipped. 1 Corinthians 12: 12-27 emphasizes that we are all parts of the body of Christ and that we therefore have all the roles for which we are best equipped.
The National Association of Evangelical's Code of Ethics for Pastors states that pastors should "promote fairness … towards church members … (by taking responsibility for the health of the church). When asked for help beyond personal competence, refer others to those with the required expertise. "
In other words, if a pastor does not have or have doubts about his ability, knowledge, or ability to address a congregation's presenting problems, it is his ethical mandate to refer the congregation to someone who is able to meet his needs (s) appropriate.
Some examples of areas for which pastors are not qualified in any professional capacity are medication management, intensive trauma management, psychosis, disturbed eating habits and chronic suicidal tendencies. This does not mean that pastors do not play an important role in supporting a person through the aforementioned issues, but simply do not receive the appropriate training to prepare them. In this way, psychiatric professionals can support pastors more fully.
Question 4: Are there a number of check-in questions that are helpful to support another pastor's mental health?
Two helpful questions that pastors can ask when checking into their sanity are: "How are you?" And "Do you feel you can do it?"
Of course, it is important to consider who, where, when, and how these questions are asked, as they can all affect the honesty of the answers that you get. Although these questions may seem simple, if answered openly and honestly, they can have daily, weekly, or even seasonal effects.
Mental health consists of three parts: physicality (your body), psychology (your thought patterns and emotions) and sociability (your interactions with others). Therefore, when you check into the mental health of your pastor colleagues, pay attention to these three topics (body, mind, social life) in their answers.
For example, when you talk about someone else when you ask him, "How are you?" This could be a sign that you may be mentally ill. They may not be in touch with their feelings. You may have to redirect them: "This is great, Jasmine won third place at the science fair, but how are you?"
If you're a pastor who talks to another pastor and they sound hopeless or pessimistic, it may be time for another conversation to learn about suicide (suicidal thoughts) and refer him to a psychologist. You could say, "Seems like you've been feeling pretty down lately. I know that sometimes people start to hurt themselves or even end their lives when they feel really down or out of control of their lives. Did you have such thoughts? "
Asking about suicide can be uncomfortable and worrying for fear of planting suicide ideas in the head, but research is clear that simply asking people about suicide doesn't increase or trigger suicide. Indeed, speaking about suicide reduces a person's risk and stigma associated with suicide.
Question 5: How do you stand up for yourself (with a manager / employer / council of elders) to take care of your mental / emotional health without appearing selfish?
It can be very difficult for a person to stand up for their superiors, especially with regard to their mental health. I have heard from some that they are afraid of it because they do not want to be perceived as "lazy", "weak" and "dispassionate for the Lord" to name a few.
However, there is a way to work for your mental health in a way that is not "selfish". One way to work for your mental health is to give your manager, employer, or older board a different perspective. For example, a pastor might say that the ability to take care of yourself first improves your ability to take care of others. Biblically, you just have to turn to the Gospel of Mark to see Jesus' examples of self-care.
Jesus worked for his own time of silence and loneliness to refresh himself in his faith and relationship with God. This time, even at the expense of not healing others, this led to more wisdom, compassion, and strength for the ministry of Jesus.
A helpful analogy to the importance of taking care of yourself so that you can take care of others is the loss of air pressure in the cabin on an airplane. If the air masks fall from above, inmates are instructed to put on their own masks before helping others to ensure everyone's health and safety. Simply put, people cannot be effective caregivers of others if they themselves need significant care.