Mental Health Needs in Brentwood, TN
The Brentwood campus of the Brentwood Baptist Church is located in an affluent neighborhood with access to good schools and healthy lifestyle choices. There are several very active churches in our area providing a variety of religious training and experiences. Most people have access to adequate healthcare. Shopping and entertainment options are readily available. You would guess that this is an area with very few mental health problems.
Recently, I asked our ministers and staff to list the mental health issues that they were currently seeing in their ministry to this neighborhood. Here is the list:
· Addiction: alcohol, opioids, other drugs, pornography, sex, social media
· Trauma: including Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), PTSD, physical/sexual/emotional abuse
· Anxiety: including panic attacks, General Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), eating disorders
· Depression: including postpartum, anhedonia, Seasonal Affective Disorder, burn out
· Suicidal thinking
· Grief: including death, job loss, and other significant life losses, long-term disability, divorce
· Aging: including Alzheimer’s and dementia
· Self-harm: including cutting
· Anger management
· Identify issues: including gender and sexual identity
· Adjustment disorders
· Relationship distress
In spite of all of the benefits of living in an affluent area like Brentwood, there are still a lot of mental and emotional needs. Each of these provide opportunities for the church to find ways to connect with people who are at various stages of distress and to offer help and hope.