The global pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of many people, Christians and non-Christians alike. With the rise of the prevalence of depression and anxiety, it has become critical to understand how to care for our mental health so that we can also effectively care for others.
The Cell Ministry invited Pastor Chua Seng Lee, a trained counsellor and pastor at Bethesda (Bedok-Tampines) Church to train the Cell Leaders and Shepherds in basic areas of mental health care. Through group discussions and practical examples, everyone gleaned from the experience of Pastor Chua, who has been exposed to spiritual and psychological approaches to addressing mental health.
Pastor Chua highlighted the symptoms of depression and challenged the notion that being depressed was a reflection of a weak spiritual walk. He cited examples of Bible characters who were spiritual giants but who also were depressed and introduced the group to the Whole Person Approach to healing, dealing with Spirit, Soul and Body. Ignoring one of these, he believes, will limit the effectiveness of help received.
By identifying types of Automatic Negative Thinking habits, everyone can evaluate and replace wrong thoughts with the truth of God’s Word. Time was also allocated for the participants to apply practical tips to approaching a conversation with empathy in their breakout rooms. Pastor Chua reiterated that this was the key to connecting and walking with someone effectively.
Communicating with simplicity and wit, Pastor Chua truly made the two sessions of learning enjoyable for the 350 participants who tuned in on Zoom. Everyone took away valuable tips that they could practically apply in their discipleship journey.