Christian Education

New curriculum integrates mental health and trauma education through faith communities

Developed by psychologists with contextual supplements for faith leaders, TriumphOverTrauma.info raises awareness about crisis prevention and services.

NASHVILLE, Tenn., October 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Harper Hill Global, in partnership with the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), is expanding its resources for those in crisis by engaging various faith-based organizations, including churches, mosques and synagogues, and by providing training for trauma facilitators – targeted educational groups.

United States is experiencing an unprecedented increase in anxiety and depression caused by the pandemic, mass shootings and civil unrest. By offering our resources to faith communities, we are improving crisis services and can prevent people from reaching mental health crisis point,” said Joan GillecePh.D., director of the NASMHPD Center for Innovation in Health Policy and Practice.

Triumph Over Trauma includes a 7-week adaptation of TAMAR (Trauma, Addiction, Mental health, And Recovery), which has been used for two decades in US correctional facilities, psychiatric hospitals, juvenile justice facilities, recovery programs substance abuse and community services. Faith-based supplements for Christian, Islamic, Jewish and Native American communities provide an opportunity for spiritual integration using nurturing and self-soothing techniques. Resources can be downloaded for free at TriumphOverTrauma.info.

The 7-week program helps participants understand the physical effects caused by traumatic experiences, identify individual symptoms/triggers, and learn healthy coping skills.

Violence in Memphis, TNhas been in the national spotlight recently, with a series of shootings, the kidnapping and murder of a kindergarten teacher, and the murder of the Reverend Dr. Autura Eason-Williamsa regional and national religious leader of The United Methodist Church.

“Sometimes it feels like there’s not much we can do once our communities are hit by violence,” the Reverend said. Kimberlynn AlexanderSaint Matthews UMC, Memphis. “Triumph Over Trauma’s resources help us help others understand the lasting damage of trauma. This program can be one of the keys to an abundant life.”

Integrating mental health awareness in light of religious traditions and spirituality can also reduce the stigma surrounding conversations about mental health and illness. “Depression and trauma do not discriminate,” said Imam Ossama Bahloul, Ph.D., resident scholar at the Islamic Center for Nashville, TN. “There is a clear need, especially after going through Covid-19, for each of us to do our best to comfort others.”

The Triumph Over Trauma resource set also includes an inclusion guide addressing intergenerational trauma caused by racism and a debriefing guide to help those who facilitate groups.

“Faith communities are often the first place a person turns to in times of crisis, but leaders are ill-equipped to manage the depth and breadth of congregational mental health needs. Referrals to professional therapists remain left unanswered due to a lack of insurance. Triumph Over Trauma helps us bridge the gap by providing essential life skills that make a big difference,” said Reverend N. Neelley Hicks, Global Executive Director of Harper Hill. and Consultant, NASMHPD Faith-Based Initiatives.

The free resource pack is available for download at TriumphOverTrauma.info.

Harper Hill Global (HHG) is a US-based 501c3 that serves as a bridge partner with government and faith-based initiatives. HHG empowers the human spirit through media, messaging and mobile solutions for a better world.

SOURCEHarper Hill Global