a podcast at the intersection of Christianity & mental health.


40 - Stigma Reduction in the Church (feat. Kristen Kansiewicz)

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We're gonna keep it rolling with guest hosts: this week we're visited by Kristen Kansiewicz, a counselor who works in the church setting and writes extensively about the topics of integrating faith & mental health. (If you're unfamiliar with Kristen, you should check out the previous episodes of CXMH she's been on!) Kristen talks about different types of stigma, what our reactions to mental illness tend to be, how these play out in church communities, and what we can do about it.

(Note: this audio was originally accompanied by a video presentation with slides, so you may hear some references to that.)

Things we mention in this episode/other resources:
- Sarah Rainer's article 'Seven Tips to Address Mental Health Issues In The Church'
- Kristen's books on Amazon, including her church curriculum for On Edge
Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church's Mission by Amy Simpson
- Mental Health Grace Alliance, which has free resources and more in-depth ones for purchase
The Biology of Sin: Grace, Hope and Healing for Those Who Feel Trapped by Dr. Matthew Stanford
- Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness by Dr. Matthew Stanford
Mental Health and the Church: A Ministry Handbook for Including Children and Adults with ADHD, Anxiety, Mood Disorders, and Other Common Mental Health Conditions by Dr. Stephen Grcevich

Connect with Kristen on Twitterher website, or buy her books on Amazon. Listen to Kristen's past appearances on CXMH:
- Episode 22: Are The Tides Turning?
- Episode 10: Counselors on Church Staff?

- “Even our language can be stigmatizing.” (tweet)
- “Stigma reduces the likelihood that someone is going to seek treatment.” (tweet)
- “52-74% of people with mental health disorders do not receive treatment.” (tweet)
- “Jesus demonstrated compassion, but He didn’t pity people.” (tweet)
- “If the church is a place where people come and they’re hurting or struggling, and then they feel alienated from God or blamed for their symptoms, then we have a gospel problem.” (tweet)
- “That’s our target: helping people in the margins.” (tweet)
- “The church has to be in the front of [protesting] and not contributing to things that need to be protested.” (tweet)

Connect with Robert on his website, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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Intro/Outro music for this episode is ‘Fall Down’ by Rivers & Robots.