Sidewalk Talk

A conversation on mental health in the church | Rev. Barbara F. Meyers

December 21, 2020

Mental health isn’t a subject that’s addressed among church congregations all that often. But if it was up to Reverend Barbara F. Meyers, that silence wouldn’t be the norm. A Sidewalk Talk volunteer and author of the book Held: Showing up for Each Other’s Mental Health, Rev. Meyers’ goal with everyone she meets—from the sidewalk to the sanctuary—is to make the world a little friendlier place. 

Listen to today’s episode as Traci talks with Meyers, her longtime friend, about Meyers’ own mental health struggles, putting Held out into the world, and her biggest wish for everyone listening. Especially if you work in or are involved with a church, this is an important conversation you won’t want to miss! 


Episode Milestones

[00:09] Intro

[00:57] Meet Rev. Barbara F. Meyers 

[03:48] Barbara’s mental health story 

[13:15] Intro to Held book 

[15:15] Barbara’s Sidewalk Talk stories  

[20:32] Differences between church, clinic, and sidewalk when it comes to mental health conversations

[26:32] Barbara starting her own Sidewalk Talk groups in Freemont, CA 

[29:12] How to listen, but not take in, everyone’s personal angst 

[32:38] Barbara’s wish for you

[33:41] Outro 


Resources Mentioned

Standout Quotes from the Episode

“My fondest wish is that people would read [Held] in their congregations and find ways of helping other folks to follow some of the lessons, or not do some of the things that I say are harmful.”
—Barbara Meyers 

“When we first started sitting out on the sidewalk, I think people were really wary of us! They probably thought, ‘what are these two white, elderly ladies doing here?’”
—Barbara Meyers  

“I’m just there for a couple hours a week, but you think of the people that are there every day out on the sidewalk—sometimes out there all night long, too—and wow, what they have to deal with in their life is just unfathomable. If there’s any way I can make the world a little friendlier for someone like that, I will.”
—Barbara Meyers 

“I wish you would find something in your life that you were meant to do on this earth. Because once you find that and you know that’s who you are and why you’re here, nothing’s going to stop you from making it happen.”
—Barbara Meyers 



Find | Sidewalk Talk Podcast


On Instagram: @sidewalktalkorg

On Twitter: @sidewalktalkorg


Find | Traci Ruble


On Instagram: @TraciRubleMFT

On Twitter: @TraciRubleMFT

On Facebook: @TraciRubleMFT

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App