The number of people suffering from mental health issues has increased since the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. However, because of the stigma surrounding mental illness, people often shy away from discussing it. Unfortunately, this leaves many to deal with the battle alone.
In light of this, and his own personal struggles, the local pastor decided to do something about the issue. is pastor of City of God Cleveland on East 152nd Street in South Collingwood and CEO of the social justice nonprofit It’s Not a Moment, It’s a Movement. CEO Kyle Early has decided to take on yet another battle.
That fight is a fight for better mental health, especially in the black community, through a program he calls “mentally messed up.”
The emotionally torn incident happened about three years ago when Pastor Kyle was going through a difficult time in his life. “I woke up one day and was like, ‘Oh, I’m mentally messed up,’ and it stuck with me,” he said.
Since that day, he began his personal journey towards mental health and began working towards becoming Mentally Mangled to help others. Today, Mentally Mangled provides mental health resources, guidance, and support to people throughout Cuyahoga County and Akron.
Mentally Mangled is a program designed to provide assistance and resources to people in need of mental health support and help them overcome the stigma of receiving help. Mentally Mangled works to convince people that asking for help and believing in God are not mutually exclusive. Pastor Kyle said many people who grew up in churches, mosques, and other institutions of faith were “taught, ‘So just pray and you’ll be fine,’ and that God is the be-all and end-all.” “I realized that it was happening,” he says. It’s all about mental health. ” Pastor Kyle insists that is not the case and that people can receive mental health services while respecting their denomination or faith.
Pastor Kyle also pointed out that there has always been a stigma when it comes to mental health, therapy, and counseling, especially in the Black community. He believes that because of this bias, people of color tend to keep what they face inside. But he says taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health and diet. “Just like you go to a workout to get in shape, just like you go on a diet to take care of your body, you need to take steps to be mentally strong,” he said.
Angel Jacobs is part of the Mentally Mangled operations team and helps create and run the program. She is also a participant in her Mentally Mangled and is working on her own healing journey. In her recent conversation, she opened up to me about the prejudice she faced in her own childhood and how it affected her life. She said the mantras in her household growing up were “What happens in this house stays in this house” and “We just pray about it.” As a result, she said, she developed an unhealthy habit of keeping things secret and dealing with her thoughts and feelings alone. Facing stigma for speaking out about personal issues can prevent people from getting the help they need to heal, she said.
Jacobs said that personally, through her journey of working with Pastor Kyle and joining Mangled spiritually, she was able to forget some of what she was taught and embrace a better way of healing. She says she’s grateful for Pastor Kyle’s message to people: “Theology doesn’t replace therapy, and therapy doesn’t replace theology.”
What Mentally Mangled does
Mentally Mangled supports individuals through free training, workshops, conferences, and an annual summit to educate people about mental health and help them access services such as counseling and support groups. The Mentally Mangled Summit held in May of this year attracted over 100 participants, and Pastor Kyle and his team spoke to over 50 faith leaders about dealing with mental health. He said he had undergone training. Check out our Instagram page or website for upcoming events.
Although Pastor Kyle is a Christian leader, he says, “Spiritual confusion is not unique to faith leaders or pastors, nor is it a problem of church, denomination, or place of origin; it is universal.” . Believing in God or being a religious person is not a prerequisite for participation in the program. He assures anyone who needs services or help that they will get the help they need.
Emotionally turbulent events typically address issues such as what trauma is, what depression is, and how to deal with someone who may be suffering from anxiety. The information and resources provided are provided by partner organizations such as Minority Behavioral Health Group and Right Direction, both of which are Black-owned. According to Pastor Kyle, these agencies provide information, treatment and counseling services to families and individuals through qualified therapists, counselors and social workers who can advise them on low-cost or no-cost options.
Spiritually Mangled is the bridge between faith and mental health, says Pastor Kyle. “If an individual says, ‘I’m struggling with this and I need counseling and therapy,’ we can support them and refer them to one of these two agencies.” said Pastor Kyle. The overall goal is to help people identify the signs of someone struggling with mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, to help prevent suicide.
Attendees of Mentally Mangled workshops and events can expect to be educated and engaged. Pastor Kyle says the event is interactive and provides an opportunity for participants to communicate openly in a non-judgmental space.
Pastor Kyle said the event also features honest and transparent conversations about what people of faith and behavioral health professionals deal with every day. The event focuses not only on people in need of mental health services, but also on those providing mental health services and those supporting people who are dealing with their own mental health issues. In addition to providing education and services, we also help connect people who want to work in mental health counseling to training programs and institutions that can help them enter the field.
In September, the Mentally Mangled team teamed up with faith leadership group The Faith Movement to organize a mental health tour around Cleveland. Each session is free and open to the public. More information and registration is available on the Mentally Mangled Instagram page. Additionally, organizations interested in having the Mentally Mangled team conduct trainings and workshops can contact them through the website. The training is free and Mentally Mangled will provide food for these events.
In the future, Pastor Kyle hopes to expand this program to more churches, communities, and schools across Ohio. The team hopes that Mentally Mangled’s work will have a ripple effect across communities and generations. Team member Jacobs believes that by providing mental health services and highlighting mental health awareness, the organization has a snowball effect of passing on health to families, which in turn leads to better health in their communities and neighborhoods. said it can help.
In the meantime, Pastor Kyle has words of encouragement for those who may be struggling with mental health issues. “I want you to be alive,” he said. “We need you here. Life matters and there is someone somewhere out there who will listen to your struggles and help you. It’s okay to have mental health issues. “I’ve been there. What’s wrong is to quit yourself, and what’s okay is to find the help you need.”
He stresses that support does not necessarily come from close family or the inner circle. “But there are people out there who can help you be resilient and mentally strong so that you have the will to live and the will to overcome the challenges you may face.”
To volunteer or donate, please visit: www.itsamovementohio.org.Visit a mentally disturbed place Website Learn about events and request training. To stay informed and receive notifications when the “Mentally Mangled – Let’s Talk Crazy” podcast goes live, find Mentally Mangled at: Instagram.