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CCLP 014: Brett Ullman on Anxiety, Depression and Mental Health In Church Leaders and In the Church

Mental health is not a subject we discuss well in the church. But at any given time, about 20% of your church and leaders are struggling with various mental health issues.

Brett Ullman, a nationally respected speaker and authority on parenting and teens, talks about how his struggles started and how to respond in the church and in leadership when mental health struggles arise.

Welcome to Episode 014 of the podcast, which you can access on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Guest Links

Brett on Facebook

Brett on Instagram

Brett on Twitter

Brett on YouTube

When Life Goes Dark by Richard Winter

Links Mentioned

Compassion Canada

Canadian Church Leaders Conference

A Mission Partner

Looking for a mission partner? Compassion Canada helps release children from poverty around the world, and they do it through the local church.

They can help you develop a mission strategy for your church that can change the world, whether your church is large or small.

For a free consult, contact them at

Want to Reach More People?

Canadian Church Leaders Conference

How different is ministry in Canada?

Join us June 14-16, 2018 in Barrie, Ontario for the Canadian Church Leaders Conference, a conference designed to help Canadian Church Leaders reach people.  Intimate, interactive and featuring all new talks. This years speakers include Laurel Buckingham (Moncton Wesleyan), Shaila Visser (Alpha Canada),  Jon Thompson (C4 Church), Jeff Brodie (Connexus) and Carey Nieuwhof. 

Registration is officially open and the early bird rate ends December 31st.

Secure your spot now to grab the early bird rate before the tickets sell out! 

3 Insights from This Episode

1. Meeting mental health needs involves engaging multiple resources

Brett found that the healthiest way for him to work towards healing wasn’t by focusing on one specific method, but to intentionally seek out a variety of care options that exercised his mind, body and soul. Emotional, physical and spiritual needs can be engaged in multiple ways. Here’s his simplified layout:

MIND – counseling (someone other than family and friends)

BODY – medical care, physical activity, diet, rest

SOUL – pastor, church community, prayer

2. The reasons we endure pain fall into 5 categories

1. We live in a fallen world.

2. We live with the effects of other’s sins.

3. We live with our own sinful nature.

4. We live against the spiritual forces of evil.

5. We live in God’s discipline and discipleship.

3. Here are resources where you can find further education or quickly access help for mental health

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Canadian Mental Health Association

Mental Health Commission of Canada

Kids Help Phone

Youth Mental Health Canada

Quotes from This Episode

Does Church in Canada Have to Stay Small?

So you would love to reach more people, but how? Your church just can’t seem to sustainably grow past the 200 barrier.

You’re reaching new families every month, but it’s like pouring water into a leaking bucket: you just can’t grow past your current plateau. What gives?

Breaking 200 Without Breaking You can help you and your team break through the barrier 85% of churches never move past: the 200 attendance barrier.

So many leaders who try to break it either get stuck at 50, 100 or 200 in attendance or burned out in the process of trying.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Believe it or not, the reasons most churches never break 200 aren’t spiritual reasons, they’re practical reasons. Strategic reasons.

The course tackles eight key issues that keep churches from passing the 200 barrier and beyond. It includes:

  • 8 videos designed to guide you and your leadership team through all the key growth barriers smaller churches face.
  • 150 page downloadable workbook for you and your team.
  • 12 licenses, so you can take your entire team through it—board, staff, key volunteers—whoever you want (that’s about $20 a person).
  • A bonus cheat sheet with access to 20 free resources designed to take you further.
  • A private Breaking 200 Facebook Group access exclusive to the first 1000 purchasers.

So whether your church is 50, 150 or 250 in attendance, the principles will help you gain the insight you need to break the barrier more than 85% of churches can’t break.

Click here to get instant access!

The podcast releases the first Thursday of every month in 2018!

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Plus, I host a weekly podcast called the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast.  Subscribe below and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Ravi Zacharias, Craig Groeschel, Sue Miller, Kara Powell, Chuck Swindoll, Greg McKeown, Jon Acuff and many others.


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Appreciate This? Rate the Podcast.

Hopefully, this episode has helped you and your church reach more people. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on iTunes and leave us a brief review!

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Mark Clark

Next month Carey sits down with Mark Clark of Village Church Vancouver to talk about rapid church growth in Canada, preaching to the unchurched and more.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 015.

CCLP 014: Brett Ullman on Anxiety, Depression and Mental Health In Church Leaders and In the Church

1 Comment

  1. Terrin on December 5, 2017 at 11:33 am


    Thank you for talking about this! I had a staff member go through something similar and trying to manage the tension between being empathetic and running the ministry in their absence was excruciatingly difficult. I remember meeting them for breakfast and just listening. It broke my heart that the thing they loved to do now caused them so much anxiety.

    Looking back on those circumstances, working 60 or more hours most weeks, managing a 100k construction project and trying to see my family left me feeling nearly burnt-out myself (and I’m not using the term flippantly). I took a break, had another child and am nearing the end of my 1-year maternity leave.

    Thank you so much for asking what people should say and do with someone dealing with mental illness. I think so many of us are quiet because we don’t want to say the wrong thing.

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