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Pathways to Promise|
5400 Arsenal Street
St. Louis, MO 63139
FAX: (314) 877-6405
Working with People with Mental Illness
Problem solving ideas that may be of help
Not all peculiar or unacceptable habits and behaviors can be changed. It is helpful to focus on one change at a time. It may mean the pastor and the congregation accommodating themselves to this person's behavior, if that is a reasonable option. It is helpful to:
- Identify the problem and work on one problem at a time.
- State the problem clearly and exactly.
- Select reasonable solutions/options.
- Give two or three options and allow the person to choose what is comfortable for him/her. The number and kinds of options will vary with the degree of illness or recovery.
- Assist the person in understanding the consequences when the option is not followed.
- Review the results together and redesign the plan as necessary.
- Remember to suggest, or make requests. Do not make demands or become confrontational. The pastor should state clearly what is important to him/her and the congregation in a positive, nonjudgmental, unthreatening manner. For example say "I would like you to . . . ," or, "we would really appreciate it if you would . . . ," or "It is important to me (and/or other members of the congregation) that you help us by . . ."
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