MERRILL, Wis. - After more than a year of living with the threat of coronavirus, many people are continuing to deal with social isolation, financial strain and mental health struggles. Often, these same people turn to their religion and more specifically their faith leaders for help navigating these difficult times. But what happens when church leaders find themselves struggling with their own hardships?
Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. (a stock insurer)1, Duke Divinity School Office of Black Church Studies and The Balm In Gilead, Inc. are partnering to offer a three-part webinar series providing practical guidance to support, provide navigation and help heal faith leaders as they continue to care for others.
The first webinar in the series, “Running on Empty: How to prioritize your own physical and mental health,” is slated for Thursday, May 20, 2021. It will be hosted on Zoom and streamed on YouTube.
“We need to provide our religious leaders with resources to help them recognize and deal with their own mental health struggles,” said Rich Poirier, president and CEO of Church Mutual. “Caring for mental health isn’t a quick fix; we hope for an ongoing partnership that keeps mental health top-of-mind for our faith leaders.”
Additional webinars will be held in September and December to address guilt and other mental health issues affecting religious leaders.
“As we continue to struggle through the damages and disruptions of COVID-19 and broader contexts of racism and violence, we rejoice to support pastors and spiritual leaders with mental health awareness and resources,” said the Reverend Regina A. Graham, associate director, Black Church Studies. “We hope these faith-rooted, faith-inspired webinars bring awareness to today's mental health challenges and provide faith leaders with help to navigate these difficult times."
All three organizations are excited about this partnership and its impact on faith leaders serving their communities.
“We join this collaboration in solidarity to support the faith leaders whose mental health is a priority for the wellness of our houses of worship and overall communities,” said Dr. Pernessa C. Seele, CEO and founder, The Balm In Gilead, Inc. “We recognize the responsibilities that our faith leaders face daily. Unfortunately, the pandemic’s toll has added to those obligations which cannot and should not be ignored.”
About Church Mutual
Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I., founded in 1897, offers specialized insurance for religious organizations of all denominations, public and private K-12 schools, colleges and universities, senior living facilities, secular and non-secular camps and conference centers, and nonprofit and human services organizations throughout the United States. Church Mutual markets most lines of commercial property and liability insurance, including multi-peril, workers' compensation and commercial auto insurance. In addition to insurance, Church Mutual provides a spectrum of value-added solutions that benefit its customers. Church Mutual holds the following honors:
• A.M. Best Company "A" (excellent) rating
• Wisconsin 75 Top Private Company by Deloitte US, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020
• Wisconsin 75 Distinguished Performer: Innovation by Deloitte US 2019
• 2021 Gallup Culture Transformation Award recipient
• 2020 Women and Diversity Award recipient from the American Property Casualty Insurance Association
• Futuremakers Partner by Wisconsin Technical College System
• Celent Model Insurer for innovation and emerging technologies
• Award in Innovation for entrepreneurialism and innovation by National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies
• 2018-2019 Employer of the Year by Northcentral Technical College
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1Church Mutual is a stock insurer whose policyholders are members of the parent mutual holding company formed on 1/1/20. S.I. = a stock insurer.
Richard V. Poirier President and CEO
Rich can speak to senior leadership perspectives, top needs of houses of worship today, leading companies through crisis & insurance trends.