CTA, Inc.

Caring for Those with Depression

Item#: MM18DEP

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Practical ways to recognize the possibility of depression, caring ways to reach out, and the important role the church can play throughout treatment.

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Introduction: There are different kinds of depression, but they are definitely more than “having a down day.” They need to be recognized and helped.

Summary:

  • The signs are listed. If someone is experiencing four or more of them for two weeks or more, it’s something to get checked.
  • Depression used to have more of a stigma than it does today, which is good.
  • Christians can experience depression, too. Christian joy is the promise of Christ’s presence, and that can be present in someone with depression, as well.
  • Both pastoral and psychological care are helpful. The pastor can be there to support people who are depressed and remind them of the hope that is always theirs, even when it doesn’t feel real. Pastors can pray with and for them.
  • If a person suspects someone has depression, the best way to address it is ask, “Are you doing okay?”
  • Challenges in working with people who have depression
    • You may feel the hope and love you’re sharing doesn’t make a difference, but be assured it does.
    • Family members don’t know what to do for the person, either. It can be helpful to talk to someone who has been through depression and ask what is helpful. Remind family members it’s good to be there.
  • Avoid
    • Lecturing
    • Saying, “Just get up and do something.” (Instead say, “Come, go for a walk with me.”)
  • Pastors should suggest seeing a doctor, as well. Medication might be helpful.
  • Be aware if someone is considering self-harm.
  • Know what’s available in the community so that if additional resources are needed, you can work with the family and recommend them.

Thought Starters:

  • Do I have a list of community resources and professionals I know about and feel comfortable recommending?

Resources:

  • CTAinc.com
    • Scripture cards
    • Scripture Magnets
    • Pocket pieces
    • Hope books
  • lhm.org: Dealing with Depression (item 6BE48)

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