Finding Hope: Navigating Dysfunction and Difficulties in Life with Dr. Mel Tavares

Welcome to Fierce Calling! In this episode, Finding Hope: Navigating Dysfunction and Difficulties in Life with Dr. Mel Tavares, Dr. Mel opens up about her personal journey, filled with difficult choices, challenging relationships, and health issues.

Despite these hardships, Dr. Tavares has dedicated her life to supporting and empowering women facing similar struggles. Growing up in a dysfunctional environment, Dr. Tavares understands the weight of making tough choices. She shares her experience of navigating an arduous 25-year marriage that eventually ended in divorce.

As a single mom herself, Dr. Tavares has a sincere heart for women in difficult situations, providing guidance and encouragement along their own journeys. Drawing from her personal battles with health issues, Dr. Tavares finds passion in bringing hope to those battling chronic illnesses and difficult diagnoses.

Her ministry extends to helping prodigal children and those seeking to rediscover their faith, where her own experiences provide invaluable insight. Dr. Tavares firmly believes that God has a purpose for everyone, even in the midst of challenging circumstances. As someone who works in the counseling and coaching fields, she actively encourages mental health awareness, seeking to erase the stigma that surrounds it, particularly within the church. In collaboration with the American Association of Christian Counselors, Dr. Tavares is actively engaged in educating churches about mental health.

I know what Dr. Mel shares will encourage, inspire, and challenge you, so listen in while Doris has a chat with Dr. Mel Tavares.

Key Themes Covered in Finding Hope: Navigating Dysfunction and Difficulties in Life with Dr. Mel Tavares

1. Overcoming challenges and finding purpose

2. Stigma around mental health in churches

3. Balancing technology and mental well-being

4. Importance of a firm foundation in faith

5. Preventative measures for mental health crisis

6. Disconnect and disconnection in families

7. Impact of technology on children’s mental health

8. 21 Days to Improved Mental Well-Being

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21 Days to Mental Well-Being

More About Dr. Mel …

Mel Tavares is an accomplished award winning author, speaker/teacher, and coach and counselor both in ministry and in her career. She has invested decades in equipping women from all walks of life to thrive in the midst of their circumstances.

Mel holds a Doctorate of Ministry, is a Board Certified Mental Health Coach, a Certified QPR Suicide Prevention Instructor, a member of the AACC (American Association of Christian Counselors), AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association). She will soon add ‘Professional Life Coach’ to her certifications.

She authors books, is a contributing author to several books, writes for multiple ministries, including the Word of Life Global Youth Ministries and Arise Daily Online Devotions. She teaches digitally and in person, conducts Facebook Live series, and is a frequent media guest. Mel is a wife, mom to seven, and grandma to ten. You can find her materials and learn more about her ministry at her website:

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Transcript for Finding Hope: Navigating Dysfunction and Difficulties in Life with Dr. Mel Tavares

Doris [00:01:56]:

Welcome back. Today I’m excited to welcome my friend Dr. Mel Tavares. She is an accomplished award winning author. She’s a speaker and a teacher and coach, and she’s a counselor both in ministry and in her career, which I love. She has invested decades in equipping women from all walks of life to thrive in the midst of their circumstances. And that is just so what Fear Is Calling is all about. And you can read more about Dr. Mel. I’ll have all of her information in the show notes. But for now, I want to welcome you to the show. Thank you for being here, Dr. Mel.

Dr. Mel Tavares [00:02:34]:

Thank you for having me, Doris. I’m excited to see what God is going to direct today yes, I’m excited.

Doris [00:02:41]:

About that too, and see what he wants us to share. And so I do love that, that you’ve spent decades equipping women to thrive in the midst of their circumstances. It’s just such a powerful thing to help someone who is going through a difficult season to see that there’s still a purpose, there’s still a way that God can use all of it for good and for his glory and for also whatever their calling might be. So I would love if you would share a little bit about your story and how you are taking action where your passion, compassion and conviction intersect.

Dr. Mel Tavares [00:03:24]:

Well, I grew up in a pretty strange what I consider a strange situation and a dysfunctional home, we would say, in today’s counseling world. And so I didn’t really have a whole lot of guidance. Therefore I made some choices that weren’t good that included not a wise choice for a mate. So I went through a marriage and 25 year marriage and then a divorce. That just seemed eminent, but I kept pushing aside. And so I have a real heart for women that have found themselves in difficult situations then, because I was a single mom, I can understand that situation as well. I have had some health issues over the years and I’ve had to combat those. So I have a real heart for bringing hope to people that are battling some chronic diseases or maybe a diagnosis that is not what we want to hear, and how to battle that. I think spiritually battle it spiritual warfare, but then implement health options that are going to lead to a healthier lifestyle and battle back those disease diagnoses. So there’s been a lot of different things. I have a prodigal child now. I have had others who have now come back to the Lord, come back to our family. So I understand women in that situation. There’s a lot of different roads I’ve been on that helps me when I’m ministering to people, whether that is the secular counseling that’s gone on or pastoral counseling now or coaching, it kind of all intersects. And that became my passion. And I know that’s my calling and whether I’m writing it or speaking it or teaching it or whatever I’m doing, there’s always good that comes out of those situations. And God, his plans will not be thwarted. And he does have a plan and a purpose for every single one of us. And even if there’s some forks in the road and he kind of brings us around the bend and back full circle, he doesn’t waste it. And I love that. And I just love being able to encourage women with that truth.

Doris [00:06:03]:

I love that so much. And especially how you went through all the things that you’ve experienced and how now it’s something that you can use to help others in these different roads that you’ve been on. And I know those forks in the road, those forks are pointy, they can really be painful. But how you shared all of that and it would just really encourage a listener right now to hear that. Because as I usually will say too, it’s like no matter where they’ve been or what they’ve done or what’s been done to them, what they’ve experienced, that everybody has a purpose and God has plans for them and they can be used by God. So that’s why I love your ministry so much and how God has used that and has called you to counsel because you have a heart for helping people who are walking maybe a broken road or maybe have people in their family that are walking broken roads. And that can be really devastating too, right? You’ve run into that so much, as you said, with a prodigal. So how do you usually encourage those people?

Dr. Mel Tavares [00:07:14]:

Well, it depends on each situation. And the Bible is filled with passages that speak to every situation we find ourselves in. I have yet to find a situation that I’ve walked through or that you would walk through or anyone would walk through and not find multiple passages to encourage and uplift. And so I tell people I have a care and counseling Bible. I know a lot of people use that. So I have a care and counseling Bible that helps me topically. But the concordance and different things too, I encourage people, get those tools, learn the scriptures that are applicable to your situation, and then we talk through those. But generically speaking, there’s so many passages on hope. There’s so many passages on the fact that the Lord is always with us, he never leaves us, he’s always faithful. And that truth alone brings hope, I think, to any situation that he’s not going to leave us dangling by ourselves, even in the worst of situations. And there may be lots of other people around us when we’re going through something, but we still feel alone. The truth is we’re not alone. So that’s, I think, a foundation.

Doris [00:08:53]:

Yes, that is amazing. And how you were talking about that, all the things we experience and all the things that we would need to work through or discover or work through our circumstances is found in the word of God. His solutions are there. And so I love that you shared that so much. And then also thinking about, okay, so people are going through a difficult situation, but maybe it’s intimidating for them to read the Bible, so they might go to someone for help. But it is a way to encourage people to go directly to the Word themselves and see it. And then sometimes they need someone to help them, like you do in your ministry, to point them to the right places to go. So I think that’s so important. You have written several different books and you have a new book that you’ve written. The title is 21 Days to improved mental well being. So tell us a little bit about what prompted you to write that and how it can help someone who’s listening.

Dr. Mel Tavares [00:09:58]:

Well, the prompting was truly we are in such a situation, not just here in the US. But around the world, that post pandemic, the mental health has become an epidemic. And I think I would say that I’m not talking about like a serious mental health diagnosis, although this book would apply also, but I have like a disclaimer in there that says do not give up your own therapist and things like that. But it seems to be a prevalence that there is an overwhelming anxiety, depression, a hopelessness fear. The more things shift and change in the world, I think we all hung on like, it’s going to be okay, it’s going to be okay. And then it turned into three years and now everybody thought it would go back to normal, whatever that was, and it’s not returning to that. So there’s a hopelessness so I just wanted to encourage people and say, listen, you can’t control the world, but you can control how you respond to these situations. And the 21 days came out of it takes 21 days to create a habit. So I thought if I could just and it doesn’t seem so overwhelming sometimes when you’re overwhelmed, a whole month of studying something just seems like too much. So I thought 21 days is doable for anyone. So in this book are very simple things that you might look at and say, well, why are you even writing about this? And the answer would be, because we all need reminders. And in it there are scriptures that go with it. So, for example, something so simple like get outside, just go outside, listen to the birds, observe the trees, smell the flowers, take your shoes off, walk on the grass. Simple things, but it’s so rejuvenating. But there’s scriptures that go along with that too, and they’re short. Doable five or ten minutes and then spend some time with the Lord praying through those things. So basic things, and then some of them go a little deeper. But that’s the heart of it, is like, we can improve, we can’t fix everything. And certainly not in 21 days, but certainly all of us can see an improvement if we would just implement some basic things.

Doris [00:12:39]:

What I like about your message and what you were just sharing is, for one thing, if people are already overwhelmed, they’re not going to want to do something that’s too overwhelming because they’ll just quit. They’ll not do it. And so 21 days and thinking of it as not like looking at 21 days on a calendar and just exiting each day, it’s just maybe looking at it and taking one day at a time, and then these exercises that you have people I mean, I know that it helps me to walk outside. I love being outside. So these things that are suggestions of people to do is very good for mental health. So I love that. And sometimes we don’t talk about that enough, do we, dr. Mel? Do you feel like people are concerned about a stigma or allowing people to know that they’re struggling? What have you found about that?

Dr. Mel Tavares [00:13:31]:

I agree with you completely. There is a stigma, and I would say in particular, there’s a need to educate within the church. So the American Association of Christian Counselors is doing a fabulous job right now of I became board certified before they initiated a movement. Now they are initiating a movement where there’s so many churches that are being raised up with teams that are at least knowing how to understand the basics of mental health and to erase that stigma because it’s not something that we necessarily control. There’s no reason to feel ashamed or whatever. And I would dare say, you know what? Throughout this book and certainly throughout counseling and coaching and whatever, I talk about how many people in the Bible are from one time or another in their life? Who hasn’t gone through anxiety? Who doesn’t go through financial stress and fears about how they’re going to handle something? Who doesn’t respond poorly when there’s an answer to prayer? That is not what we wanted to hear, doesn’t struggle with depression at times. It’s just not talked about, like you said. But in the average community or church or family, there are going to be multiple people that have similar situations. So if we bring it out of the darkness and into the light and just say it’s okay, we’re all trying to adapt ourselves to a new world that is not like anything we’ve ever seen before. And so I joyfully talk within churches, too, and to other believers leadership about the need to break down the stigma. I do even suicide prevention training within churches. Not just in the community, but it’s good to do it within the churches and let them know, like, hey, if you’ve got a group of youth or a group of women or a men’s group or your own leadership, the elders, the deacons, the whoever. There’s a chance that there are several people who are struggling and they’ll never talk about it. It’s not okay to talk about.

Doris [00:16:02]:

Yes, well, it’s very encouraging to hear that we’re getting better about it and that you’re having opportunities to share that. Because as you said earlier, which kind of struck me, we went through the whole pandemic thing and everything in what we were considering as our normal changed. And I love this one T shirt I saw. I think it was on Facebook, it said, Normal is not coming back. Jesus is coming back. And I really love that. But thinking about it, it’s like we can go through things like that where the whole entire fabric of what we know in our routines and our regular life is changed, the whole fabric changes. So how important it is to have a firm foundation in something that is not just fleeting, something that is like the rock of Jesus Christ. So thank you. I’m so glad that you are getting in and talking to the different groups. And I know our church is doing something really amazing, which they decided that they want to implement Sabbaticals for our leaders, for our pastors and the pastoral staff and there’s certain criteria and everything, but I think it’s so good. And it’s not necessarily because there is some kind of a crisis, but it’s a cris prevention to be able to take that time and refresh. So what are some ways that you recommend to churches and different groups to implement those kind of preventative measures?

Dr. Mel Tavares [00:17:52]:

Well, number one, and, you know, working at a church just like I am, that the work is never done. It’s never done. You can take it home with you. There’s a text that comes in. I just got a text a little bit ago of someone whose daughter was in a car accident today and is in critical condition and there’s a lot of distance between them. So now you’ve got it never ends when we leave the office. So I say this Sabbatical is good, but a day of rest, I talked about that in my book. It goes all the way up and down the scale of doesn’t matter who you are. And all the more the leaders, because the weight, the higher up, I’ll say, the higher up the food chain, the more responsibility a person has, the more necessary it is to take those times and rest. And so by no means should we work seven days a week. There’s got to be at least the Sabbath. And those of us that are involved in ministry typically don’t get Sunday. But my pastor has from the time he got married and started having a family, every Tuesday is their day and we dare not interfere with that. We must not. And so that became a thing. So resting and I’ll say this, just something simple like encouraging each other to eat healthy and that can go simplistically. Why are we bringing certain snacks to the office? Why aren’t we bringing something else because what we put in our bodies is going to help either help fuel positive or it’s going to drag us and cause some detrimental things. It might even be that those other foods are bringing in some anxiety and things. So there’s all that. And then it’s encouraging everyone to be in small groups, everyone to take time to have fun and have friends and relax and not feel guilty. And it’s hard because there’s always things to do. Even I talk to moms a lot because I’m a mom and a grandma. And I’m always encouraging the young moms like, you’ve got to let grandma have that child and go out on a date, for goodness sakes. Just go on a date. Do something fun. Oh, I’d feel guilty. Yeah, you might feel guilty. Go anyway.

Doris [00:20:30]:

Yeah, I love that.

Dr. Mel Tavares [00:20:32]:

That sort of thing.

Doris [00:20:33]:

That is great advice right there.

Dr. Mel Tavares [00:20:36]:

We got to take a break. Yeah. And God designed us that way, right? He rested. He gave us the model. We can’t go 24/7. We’ve got to refuel and recharge.

Doris [00:20:48]:

We’ve got to yeah, I love that. Did you hear that, listeners? We have to refuel and recharge because ultimately we will be better for others when we do that.

Dr. Mel Tavares [00:21:00]:


Doris [00:21:01]:

Burned out or frazzled. And I love what you said, something you said earlier about bringing things into the light. That is so biblical to bring things into the light. I mentioned this before, I think, on another show. I wrote a blog post years ago that said, what if everyone found out? And it’s just about the fact that sometimes we might carry burdens and carry things because we’re afraid someone will find out about it. And if they find out, they won’t like me or what will they think of me? And we do really worry sometimes more about what a person will think versus like, well, what does God think of this? And if it’s already been exposed and God knows all about it and all of that, but we still worry about other people finding out. And that is not the way to do it. We do need to do things in community, in the right settings, with the right people that we trust. So I love it also that you brought out the fact that it is healthy to have friends, right?

Dr. Mel Tavares [00:22:04]:

Got to have friends. I think that we are in such a disconnected society right now. The pandemic again did not really help because everybody started isolating and then we pivoted to we’ll just text, we’ll FaceTime or whatever. And whatever happened to just go into coffee with a friend or something and it’s like, well, it’s just easier. I’ll just FaceTime, I’ll text them. Or maybe we don’t because we’re so busy, busy, busy. But we have to have those connections because we’re wired to have deep, deep connections and so it doesn’t have to be a lot. So sometimes people look and say, oh, I’ve got lots of friends. I’ve got like 400 on Facebook. I’ve got 1000 Twitter followers. But those aren’t friend friends. Now, some of us are friends, and we maintain a level of sharing pictures or doing whatever through social media, but we can’t maintain a deep relationship with 400 people. So we have to have a couple or a half a dozen or a dozen close knit friends that we can connect to face to face as often as possible and share that relationship. That’s part of the void that’s going on. And the loneliness in this society now is part of what’s leading to that anxiety and the depression and all the things that are going on because we’re just very detached. We got to reconnect.

Doris [00:23:42]:

Yeah, such a good point and such golden nuggets there, right? Because people do tend to isolate when maybe they’re going through a struggle or there might be times where we’re prompted to reach out to someone and maybe we just don’t do it. But oftentimes God is calling us to reach out to someone who needs it right when they need it, so we can be that friend. And you’re right, it is so important. There are a lot of connections. But social media is not the primary relationship connector. It’s not the primary way that we should have relationships. And some of those might be bots anyway, not even real people. But we don’t really see a lot of times the true things that are happening in their lives. We see the good stuff, the pictures and the fun things and the vacations and all of that. And so probably in your practice, in ministering to people, you’ve seen a lot of that, right, where social media could actually cause more anxiety than anything else.

Dr. Mel Tavares [00:24:56]:

Unfortunately, and I’m pleased to say that even the CDC and others are now coming out with the secular organizations are coming out with reports that are being researched by the scientists and by Yale John Hopkins, Tufts, all of the Mayo Clinic. And now they’re recognizing and saying that there is a serious disconnect and that that disconnect because of social media or all devices. I’m not just going to say social, but utilizing the technology you overusing it is causing a lot of the underlying it’s almost like an underwater current that’s happening where there’s a generalized kind of feeling of anxiety and it’s for one thing, just a random thing. But I talk about these kinds of things all the time. Just having screen time and not shutting that down at least an hour before somebody goes to bed actually impacts so it’s impacting sleep. It’s disrupting sleep. And if you are doing all the right things but your sleep is disrupted, you’re going to have brain fog. You’re going to have all this stuff going on. You can eat all the right things and do all the right things, but if you don’t get sleep, you can’t refuel, you can’t recharge your brain, and it’s leading to all these other things. So they’re saying, put your screens down. Limit your screen time. Whether it’s a TV or an iPad or a phone or it doesn’t matter. Put it down. Go do real things outside. Go read a real book. Like, we like that, right? We like books and read a book. Touch the paper, get something beside screens into your system.

Doris [00:26:58]:

Such great reminders right there. And we can even feel it if we’ve been on too long. You start feeling a heaviness, and you start feeling like an exhaustion kind of a thing because it’s just so much at you at once when you think about it. We think of the fruit of the spirit, and there’s the self control. It takes intentionality to break from that because it can really become an addiction, right?

Dr. Mel Tavares [00:27:27]:

It can. And so if I could be so bold as to mention, john Eldridge wrote a book called Get Your Life Back. And I just taught that as a women’s Bible study. This spring, he had us it’s a video based series, and he had us go through and the first night he had me put every everybody had to put their phones on airplane mode. You should have seen the faces in the room. They were like, oh. And I was like, It’s okay, the phone is right there. Well, the next week it was like, put your phone on airplane mode, give it to your leader, and she’s going to put it in a basket and set it on the other side of the room. And there was an intense discomfort. Week three was, okay, we’re going to do all of that, and now we’re going outside just for five minutes to look at the flowers, and then we’re coming back in. And they were like, well, take my phone. Do you know, by the end of it, they were leaving their phones in the car. They weren’t even bringing them to the Bible study. And I was like, that’s a victory right there, because we realized how attached we are to even just the comfort of having it in our pocket or something. Or you hear a notification go off and you glance at it and it totally disrupts the calmness and the peacefulness and so just trying to put it on the other side of the room for a while or something, anything.

Doris [00:28:52]:

Wow, that was really great. So that was called get your life back. Wow.

Dr. Mel Tavares [00:28:57]:

Indeed. We all need it was a fabulous Bible study.

Doris [00:29:00]:

That’s great. That’s great to know. And yeah, thinking about it, it’s almost like going through a rehab, kind of trying to break away from that. And then just like you were saying earlier, implementing good habits and changing those habits and feeling like when you think about it, it’s like, what did we do years ago? We didn’t have cell phones that we carried around with us. We were actually connecting with people and if something happened, we could pull over and use Payphone or whatever. I’m aging myself now. But, yeah, we really feel like it’s got to be like an appendage sometimes, and that’s not really healthy. And then the bigger and better ones keep coming out with all the new features and all of that.

Dr. Mel Tavares [00:29:47]:

Well, and another thing that I’ve done, I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I deleted quite a few apps off my phone, the ones that I realized are really causing me to get sucked in. I deleted them and I was like, I feel so much more freedom now myself, just not having that. And the other piece that we haven’t really talked about, but it’s necessary is how can we commune with God and how can we connect with Him and hear his voice? We talk about how do we know the will of God for our lives? How do we know what our calling is? How do we know what we should be doing? What’s our purpose? Well, we’re in such a distracted world, how can we ever hear Him anyway? So just that alone would be enough to warrant disconnecting for even an hour a day. Just not saying, don’t answer your phone. We obviously just like, if we back in the day, had landlines or whatever, there’s a necessity to stay in touch with family or emergencies or whatever, but just to disconnect enough to say, like, I need to hear Your voice, Lord. I need to know what you’re telling me. I need to know what the next step is. I need to know My direction. So that’s a whole piece of that, too. And that is the foundational piece. Like, we can do all the right things, but what if we’re not communing with God? What if we’re not even connected to Him because we’re so busy and disconnected and preoccupied with everything else going on, 99% of which really has nothing to do with our lives anyway?

Doris [00:31:27]:

Yes. Wow, that is so good. And when you think about it, because it really can become an idol in our life because we’re putting it before God. I mean, it’s not like we have to have a golden calf in our backyard or something that we’re bound down to it’s. That something that’s taking the place of God. But I love how you pointed that out. And what would change how would our world change if we were that drawn to that connection with God every day, all day? That kind of a connection with Him versus this thing that we have that we look at. So I love that you’re giving these ideas and giving people permission to put their phone away. I like when families will do that. I know a lot of families that, especially at the dinner table, put your phone down and so you can have an actual conversation. But it’s even hard to find families that have those kind of schedules that they actually sit down together for a meal. I mean, I hope that’s kind of coming back a little bit, but it kind of went by the wayside for a while.

Dr. Mel Tavares [00:32:31]:

It did. And that’s another whole piece. I mean, having raised my kids and now the grandkids, I remember writing about this in my first book, and I adhere to it. Now, 15 years later, I’m still like, I’m sorry. I feel like it’s a mantra. But again, look at the cultures where that connection happens over the meal. So my husband’s Portuguese, and that’s a connection point. The Spanish population will be Hispanics. They’ll do the same thing. Like, that’s your food. I have a son in law that’s African food is everything. You talk over the food. And so in today’s fast paced society, so many to the moms that are out there, including all my own children, they’ve got their kids and stuff, too. All my grandkids, they use soccer, this and this and all these different activities. But I’m like, if there’s any way I don’t care if it’s just 15 or 20 minutes over spaghetti, but to be able to connect and kind of talk around the table and say, how was your day? Those things are so vital. And even the Department of Ed is now recognizing that a lot of the issues that are going on with school children in the classroom I have a ton of friends that are teachers, and they’re seeing that there’s a disconnect with their own family. And average do you know, average is less than five minutes a day. So if somebody can carve out five or ten minutes with their child over a meal, they’ve beat most of the statistics. Oh, wow.

Doris [00:34:10]:

That’s kind of sad when you think about it. And yeah, that’s so important to do that over a meal, too, because when you think about it, it’s like you’re feeding a physical need, nutrients and all of that, and then you’re kind of feeding into spiritual mental health and those kind of needs, too, where you could have more of a captive audience. I always like driving the kids places when they couldn’t drive yet because they’re like in the car and they can’t go anywhere.

Dr. Mel Tavares [00:34:43]:

Absolutely. Turn the music down and use it as conversation time. Yeah, because anything that we’re talking about with adults is magnified with children and youth today, because everything we just said about disconnection is magnified with kids, unfortunately. And so when you look at how disconnected they are from their own families, a lot of homes, if there’s a two parent home, they have both parents working out of necessity. In today’s economy, that didn’t used to be the case. Now it is. And so all the more, we have to struggle to prioritize connecting with them on a deep level. Not just, hey, how was your day? And then they throw their backpack and go off and do whatever they’re doing, but. To really listen and be available because they’re going to say things about their day that if we have ears to hear, we’re going to be like, oh, they’re not doing very well, are they? And there might be things that have happened that they need to talk about. If we’re adults and we’re struggling with synthesizing all of the information and handling it, then how much more are the kids? Because they’re witnessing and hearing all of the things, all of the trauma, all the crisis that’s being coming at them in their classrooms, in their schools. We won’t even talk about how bad that is. And then they overhear the news and all of those things. They’re on social media, they’re seeing a lot of news headlines, and it’s one thing after the next. And I’ll say this, I won’t say who. I’ll say, I had a conversation with a person who is 14 years old, and I said, hey, what are you thinking about for college? And she said, oh, I’m not even thinking about college because the world will end before I even get to be 20 years old. And I said, what? Wow. Why would you think that she ended up just shortly after that conversation? Because that was a short conversation and it just broke my heart. And it wasn’t too many weeks later when she was in a mental health institution to try to get the help and get her thinking back around. And do you know that when it all was said and done, it came back down to her phone?

Doris [00:37:21]:


Dr. Mel Tavares [00:37:21]:

It came down to her phone and all that she was absorbing through there. So the therapist was like, you need to get off that thing, because she became so despondent that she felt no need. There was no hope at all. 14 years old?

Doris [00:37:37]:

Yeah. Wow. I mean, it is so true. There are so many walking around with no hope, and it’s just an opportunity to be able to share the hope that we have. How the word says, be ready to share the hope that we have. And so this has been such a great episode and just very eye opening and thank you for all you’re doing to help, because helping even just one person, it makes a big impact, and then they can make an impact on the people in their circles. And so it can be a real domino effect in a positive way. And when people say, hey, you know what really helped me? I did this or I didn’t do that or whatever. And it really can cause a chain reaction of good stuff and spreading the gospel too. And so I would love if you would share, how can the listener connect with you and find your books and more about the things that you do?

Dr. Mel Tavares [00:38:39]:

I tell everybody the easy access is just go to the website. So it’s And I’ve got the blogs and the books and the resources. I’m in the middle of building a resource library that I’m going to make available because my heart is that there’s a lot of resources that each of us are creating that can help others. So it’s another landing page for resources and suicide prevention. I’ve got a page on there, so there’s just a lot. So go to the website. It also is where they can find the coaching if they’re interested on the mental health coaching and things. And it emails and I’m always available by email. I’m not always available by phone, but I am available by email and I will respond to those and just talk people through whatever it is they’re going through.

Doris [00:39:37]:

Well, thank you, that’s fantastic. And I will have the link in the show notes to your website so they can check it out and reach out. And, yeah, we really appreciate your time today and sharing the wisdom that God has given you and the nuggets of truth that have come through on this episode. And I hope it really has blessed someone and encouraged them that they can make positive changes. And those positive changes not only help their own needs and spiritual, physical, mental health, but also those in their families and the people around them. So thank you so much, Dr. Mel, for being on the show and I hope to have you back again sometime.

Dr. Mel Tavares [00:40:23]:

Thank you for having me and I likewise pray that the listeners have walked away with one or two nuggets that they can implement.

Doris [00:40:32]:

Great. See, there’s a good point right there. Don’t get overwhelmed, but pick out a couple of things that you can implement and start small. And we have to start small first. Take one step at a time. So thank you so much and I will talk to you soon, friend.

Dr. Mel Tavares [00:40:51]:

Thank you.

Timestamps for Finding Hope: Navigating Dysfunction and Difficulties in Life with Dr. Mel Tavares

00:03:24 Rough childhood, health issues, helping women find hope.
00:07:14 Bible has passages for every situation faced.
00:09:58 Mental health epidemic amidst post-pandemic world.
00:13:31 Christian organization working to erase mental health stigma.
00:17:52 Working at a church is never-ending, even outside the office. Rest is important for everyone, especially leaders. Find time to relax and take care of yourself. Encourage healthy habits and prioritize relationships. Don’t feel guilty for taking time for yourself.
00:22:04 Need deep connections, not just social media.
00:24:56 CDC and experts warn about screen time.
00:29:47 Deleting apps for freedom; connecting with God.
00:34:43 Disconnected kids need deep level conversations urgently.
00:37:37 Sharing hope creates positive chain reactions in spreading the gospel.
00:40:32 Start small, implement, take one step at a time.


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