Recognizing that more and more people are facing mental health issues or simply needing emotional care due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, Hope for the Heart has launched Lifeline to Hope, a “Master Class” quality self-study course designed to teach individuals how to better provide care and counseling support for their friends, families, coworkers, and church members during these challenging times.
Lifeline to Hope was developed by Dr. Eric Scalise, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Hope for the Heart. He had a vision for seeing the ministry’s wide array of biblical counseling resources – called “Keys for Living” – employed to equip and empower others who want to hone their people-helping skills and serve those around them in emotional pain and distress.
“Our focus is training people of faith who desire to follow the scriptural command of ‘helping one another,’ but may not know how or where to start,” Dr. Scalise said. “This dynamic program prepares individuals to effectively respond to the everyday issues of life, including those who experience traumatic events, grief and loss, relational difficulties, addiction, and more. If someone needs a listening ear, a compassionate heart, and godly direction, we believe participants will develop greater skills and confidence in offering wise biblical counsel, whether friend-to-friend or as a part of a broader ministry role.”
He had the full backing of June Hunt, the ministry’s founder and chief servant officer, who provides lay-counseling through her award winning radio program, Hope In The Night, and training opportunities in a variety of settings. “Recognizing our ‘Keys for Living’ contained wisdom mined from God’s Word, Eric joined Hope for the Heart so we can maximize the value of these wonderful resources and see their impact multiplied,” Hunt said. “We are excited Eric is leading us to take these materials and this program to serve those in need across the country and through our many international partners.”
The Lifeline to Hope course draws from the depth and breadth of the scriptural principles and processes developed by Dr. Scalise and Hope for the Heart over the past four decades to bring biblical hope and practical help for everyday problems. It covers specific topics where individuals have questions or require care and support, including self-worth, grief, anger, forgiveness, and recovery for example, as well as training people helpers on how to better meet the emotional and spiritual needs of those in crisis, no matter the issue.
In addition, the course nourishes a participant’s own spiritual, emotional, and mental wellbeing, so they are better prepared to help without taking on everyone else’s burdens. The goal is to approach the caregiving process relationally, as studies consistently show lay-person care can be as effective as professional counseling whenever there is a strong, trusting relationship involved. Another benefit to the program is the support it gives to overworked pastors, who are often the first stop for individuals who seek out counseling or mental and emotional health care, but may be untrained in this area.
The Lifeline to Hope Self-Study Course is a 10-session, video-based training that offers flexibility for individuals to learn at their own schedule and pace and to access lessons anywhere, anytime on their computer or mobile device. The engaging curriculum is taught by experienced instructors and includes a comprehensive 300-page Caregiver Training Manual (PDF) and a Bonus session on stress, burnout, and balanced self-care. A Certificate of Completion is awarded after passing a series of tests associated with each training module.
In addition to the self-study course, Lifeline to Hope is also available as a resource for churches and ministry organizations who are interested in a group training format. While the course has application across many different ministry contexts, it is specifically designed for anyone who wants to grow in their people-helping and relational skills or gain greater insight in how to biblically help others and understand basic caregiving, crisis intervention, and counseling principles.
More information is available at www.hopefortheheart.org/lifeline-to-hope-self-study/.
Hope for the Heart was founded by June Hunt in 1986. What began as a simple desire to help people find answers to life’s toughest challenges has grown into a worldwide ministry of hope. For nearly 35 years, God has used Hope for the Heart to change countless lives through its radio broadcasts, counseling services, international outreach, and biblical resources on over 100 topics spanning 36 languages in more than 60 countries.