Many of the people we serve in Christ either personally suffer from mental illness or are caring for someone suffering from mental illness. Statistics say 1 in 4 of our congregation falls into this category. And statistics also prove we may be the first person they seek help from. There are many free resources available for us to educate ourselves to their needs and how to minister to them ethically. I encourage all of you to become more compassionate and aware of the impact mental illness has on the body of Christ.
I am sharing links to two organizations that are extremely respected and have many free resources to help us as faith leaders to minister more effectively to individuals and families in crisis. Embracing them in their time of need is imperative. Compassion, understanding, and awareness to their specialized needs will come through educating yourself in how to address them spiritually and ethically. These trusted organizations have truly laid a firm foundation for all of us in ministry to benefit from. I urge you to take a look at what they have to offer there are many support resources you may share with your church family as well.
The truth is we as people accept the fact that our other organs malfunction or fall subject to disease. There is no persecution per se of those that are born with irregularly sized hearts or whose kidneys no longer function at operational capacity. It seems as if all other organs receive some sort of grace when they malfunction or become diseased. Unfortunately, our brains are not exempt from the maladies that plague other organs but there is an undeserved stigma that comes along when they do fail or malfunction. Mental illness is as real as diabetes, cancer or liver disease. Those that feel it effects often suffer shame as well as exclusion from society, let us as faith leaders not be a part of that excommunication. Let us learn to serve them in the same capacity as we would any other member of our congregation going through a time of need.
The mentally ill person’s family is also in great need of love and support. Mental illness can be very taxing emotionally for those that are caring for someone who suffers from mental illness just the daily experience can leave them feeling drained and alone. We as a faith community must provide the caregivers with the love and support of Jesus Christ and care for them too in their times of need. We must stand together to end the stigma and erode the barriers that separate those in need with love and compassion of Christ. Please join me in being more aware.
My son’s mental illness and how it opened my eyes to this great need for more awareness in the faith community.
13 thoughts on “Mental Health & The Faith Community Free Resources”
Praying for you and your family!
You are loved 🙏🏻❤️🙏🏻
Thank you. As are you. That made me smile 😊
I’m not sure if you have heard Chonda Pierce share her testimony about depression and medication. She shared how many in the Christian community will tell people to have more faith rather than take medication for mental illness while they wear glasses and think nothing of it. She said, “Take your glasses off and drive down the road. Where’s your faith?” She drew attention to the fact that this is a chemical imbalance that needs medication. I will “Amen” you all the way as you make the Christian community aware of something that many churches are afraid to address due to a lack of information or understanding. You and your family are in my prayers because everyone does walk through this as a unit.
I was told by a sister in Christ I should be ashamed of making my son take manmade medication and that he didn’t need a doctor he needed an excorcist. So I am fully aware that ignorance is deep seated in the Evangelical community. Some of the answers to our prayers for healing do come in the form of skilled doctors and proper medication. No one flinches at taking an aspirin or an antibiotic and both are godsends when needed. Telling someone who has been prescribed medication that keeps them from having suicidal thoughts and tendencies to just have more faith and ditch the drugs is not only unethical it is GROSSLY negligent.
In my sons case his medication and therapy will be PARAMOUNT in keeping him and others safe. Can God touch my son and heal him YES! And will he used trained doctors and medication to do so…YES! Will anyone make me feel bad about my son being treated by trained professionals or treat us as if we have less or little faith…probably…but will I care…NO.
Only by God’s grace and mercy did my son survive the suicidal part of his illness. I have faith that God put him in his hand and protected him each and every attempt he made as they all ended in failure. Do I have faith that this happened for a reason, undoubtedly. Will God use this for the good of my son and others, ABSOLUTELY.
So true about how there needs to be more awareness in our faith communities. God would want us to pay attention for sure.
The faith Community sometimes drops the ball bigtime here. Sometimes even makes the situation worse I dare say by not understanding that mental illness is not under the persons control. Getting better isn’t in their head. There can be very serious, very real physiological reasons people are mentally ill. Hormones, brain structure, etc all can play a part and if someone just sloughs it off as “feelings” people can be hurt by bad advice or unethical suggestions like applying prayer without medication.
Agree with you there. Wow sounds like God is moving you in a direction of advocacy (not sure if you were already). Sounds like you have a heart for it. The church needs a voice for that for sure.
My son is one of 51 million people who are afflicted by this particular illness. 1/4 of the world is afflicted by one form of mental illness or another. That’s a lot of broken hearts, questions, and struggles. And you and I know the answer for all of it…Jesus Christ.