Saddleback Church will host a one-day conference Friday, March 28 at the Lake Forest campus to support those living with mental illnesses, and to equip church leaders to provide those afflicted with effective and compassionate care.
The Gathering comes a week before the first anniversary of the death of Pastor Rick Warren's 27-year-old son, Matthew, who took his life on April 5, 2013 after a lifelong struggle with severe depression and suicidal thoughts for years.
Keynote speakers include Rick and Kay Warren, Bishop Kevin Vann, Steve Pitman of NAMI Orange county, Amy Simpson, Eric Johnson, Chuck Hannaford and Matthew Stanford.
All tickets are sold out, but you can still participate by watching live online for free starting at 8:30 a.m. PST. Click here for the live feed.
"One of the things I believe is that God never wastes a hurt and that oftentimes your greatest ministry comes out of your deepest pain." Pastor Rick Warren said in a recent sermon.
"It's so important that people know, no matter how desperate their despair, there is hope, and not to give up," Kay Warren speaking in the press release.
She added, "We want this to be a hopeful event that encourages individuals and helps them realize they are not alone in dealing with mental illness."
Studies show that one out of every four adults in America will be affected by mental illness at some point in their lives, and the first place many go for help is church.
The megachurch Pastor will team up with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, Calif., and the National Alliance on Mental Illness- Orange County (NAMI-OC) to host the event.
'The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church' hopes to raise awareness and help educating family members and church leaders to provide effective care to any faced with the challenges of mental illness. Workshop topics will include depression, stigma, suicide-risk reduction, church counseling, support groups and recovery ministries, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, addictions.