May 16, 2023
You're equipping a young leader to live out her faith in her future career.
What is the intersection between mental health and faith? Jacqueline Tams, a fourth-year student studying psychology at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, is passionate about understanding that intersection—and exploring how churches can provide better support for people who are struggling.
You're helping to equip her.
“Anxiety and depression rates continue to rise, especially in the aftermath of Covid-19,” said Jacqueline. “I believe mental wellness and spiritual health are intrinsically linked together and the Bible is full of wisdom for Christians struggling with their mental health.”
According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, in any given year, one in five Canadians experience a mental illness. The National Institute of Mental Health reports the same statistics for the United States.
“I think it definitely hits the university age group the hardest since so many people are moving away and their support system isn’t necessarily there,” said Jacqueline. “That’s such an important role that the church has—to not necessarily be so worried about these massive steps of professional counseling, but to take these simple steps in forming support and community.”
Recently, Jacqueline took it upon herself to provide that support and community for students and young professionals by leading a small group exploring mental health topics. You helped make that possible through an Emerging Leader grant from Resonate.
That’s such an important role that the church has—to not necessarily be so worried about these massive steps of professional counseling, but to take these simple steps in forming support and community.
In partnership with Christian Reformed campus ministries, the Emerging Leaders program equips young adults for ministry, both for right now and in the future, by providing financial support, mentorship, and an opportunity for hands-on ministry experience.
“Jacqueline is … devout, hardworking, ambitious, and deeply concerned with the mental health of her peers,” said Todd Statham, your Resonate partner campus minister at the University of British Columbia Okanagan.
As part of the Emerging Leader process, Todd mentored Jacqueline. Reading books and discussing them together, they explored the intersection of faith, psychology, and mental health. And then, Jacqueline partnered with a local church called The House to lead a small group covering various mental health topics.
Students from the university campus—and a few young professionals from the community—showed up each week. Jacqueline followed God’s lead in the purpose for this group. It became a space where students could not only learn about mental health, but where they could open up and talk about their experiences. Jacqueline leaned into that.
“We had a discussion on where we were all at and the strategies we use, and we kind of just built that community together,” she said.
Thank you for supporting leaders like Jacqueline through Resonate! She said she found the experience as an Emerging Leader to be valuable to living out her faith as well as her future career.
“It was great to be in both roles—being mentored, and then mentoring in a small group role and connecting with people who were younger than me on campus. Be that friendly face,” she said.
Jacqueline will be graduating this spring. She plans to take a gap year and apply to graduate schools to continue her study of psychology.