The Autism Faith Network began out of a desire for churches to be more supportive for special needs families. While receiving support from others is important, we can’t forget about supporting ourselves with self-care.

Self-care is very important when you are parenting children with disabilities. However, it’s easy to neglect yourself while preparing for work, the next IEP meeting, therapy appointments and so many other things that demand our time.

I joined Sandra Peoples on her podcast, “Self-Care and Soul-Care for the Caregiver,” to discuss self-care when you have children with disabilities. We talked about parenting, COVID-19, mental health, counseling and so much more!

“I cannot emphasize enough that if you’re feeling depressed, you’re worried, you’re anxious, you’re stressed all the time—it doesn’t mean that you’re crazy or something’s wrong with you or you don’t have enough faith—it just means you need someone else to step in and help out. We don’t think about going to get help if we break our leg or another part of our body. But when we need help with our mind, all of the sudden it’s a big deal. We have to be willing to embrace that and act on the resources that are available.”

Tonya Nash


July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. We all have to do our part to reduce the stigma that comes with mental illness in minority and even faith-based communities. Let’s work to create environments in which counseling is encouraged instead of stigmatized! Counseling can be a very important part of our self-care routine.

You can hear my entire discussion with Sandra on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. We hope that it will be a blessing to you!

How does your place of worship encourage or assist with self-care? Do you have a self-care routine?

*I participated in a podcast earlier this year with Kit Kennedy to discuss how churches can be more welcoming for persons with autism and their families. You can listen to that episode here.