Emotional health

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Eunice Sykes, seated, chats with Sharon Gentles, standing to the right, at the beginning of a dementia caregiver support group meeting at Sheila Welch's Marietta, Georgia, home. Welch, second from left, expanded her church's ministry after taking care of her mother for three years. Photos by Bita Honarvar

Dementia ministry in Georgia serves as a model for churches to care for the caregivers

What started with a simple support group has grown to include online resources and gatherings that pursue its twofold mission: to help caregivers and to educate faith and community leaders. It’s part of a growing trend of congregations supporting the “invisible second patients” of dementia.

Dr. Jon Kocmond looks at photos of his family in his home office in Charlotte, North Carolina. Kocmond lost his 16-year-old son, Nathan, to suicide in the fall of 2017. He has since been active in the suicide support group at Christ Episcopal Church. Photos by Wendy Yang

A church invests in mental health in response to parishioners' suffering

A 6,400-member congregation in North Carolina has created a “wellness director” position after experiencing six suicides in five years.

A walkway at Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve in Pennsylvania, which author L. Roger Owens visited, alone and with his family, over the course of a year. Photo by Rachel Handel

L. Roger Owens: Midlife as a time of discovery, not a problem to be solved

Instead of sinking into the feeling of being stuck, a seminary professor set a goal of taking 40 walks to mark his 40th birthday. He then wrote essays about the experience, reflecting on the burdens and the surprises of the middle stage of life.

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