Next week, we’re launching Insights – the next iteration of last year’s ‘Live Q&A’. It’ll take place monthly on Zoom from 1-2PM, and it kicks off next Wednesday (February 17th)! At Insights, we’ll go through the latest COVID-19 updates, and dive deeper into different areas of Leadership, Health, Mission and Justice – with each session giving “insight” into one of these areas, often with the help of experts. These sessions are for any leader within your church: Pastors, Secretaries, Treasurers, Elders…even people you see leadership potential in! Rally your ministry team and use it as a leadership development tool.

The first Insights will feature Fiona Gardner – the Youth Mental Health Coordinator for Baptist Youth Ministries (and Youth and Young Adults Pastor at Toongabbie Baptist Church). She will help us look into how to spot if someone around you may be having a mental health issue, how you can be aware of your own mental health, and how important it is to create and maintain good mental health resilience. “1 in 5 Australians aged between 16 and 85 will have some form of mental health problem, and when we specifically look at the ages of 16 to 24, these statistics change to 1 in 4 – meaning 25% of our young people have a mental health problem!” Fiona says. “This is a topic that can be difficult to talk about. Often we feel unsure of what to say or do to help, but the earlier the intervention, the better the chance of recovery.”

Fiona’s role with the association is to help resource and equip leaders in youth mental health, so we can all contribute to ending the stigma that is associated with mental health problems and illnesses. “People who have a mental health problem or illness can feel isolated, alone and misunderstood – and as Christians we can step into that space and be the ones who walk alongside them,” she explains. “Being educated around mental health, no matter what role you have in the church or community, will equip you in how to have a healthy and helpful conversation with someone who has a mental health problem. It is important that leaders within the church show others that talking about mental health isn’t scary or taboo, but an important topic to bring out into the open.”


Want to open up a conversation around mental health within your church, connect with other pastors and leaders within our Association, and stay updated about social distancing restrictions? Registration for this month’s Insights session is now open! Click here to register (or, email for more info).

P.S. Have you and your ministry staff joined our new ‘Pastors & Leaders’ Facebook group? It’s another place for us to connect, encourage, challenge, share stories and engage with tools from the Association. Request access here


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here