If there was ever a community that should be facing head on the challenge of mental illness, it is the church. What other safe place is there for people to find encouragement, support and compassion?
Depression is nearly impossible to describe. I was looking for a word or phrase that captured the heart of it, and I found it in an article by Dr. John Timmerman, “At the most unexpected moments it slips people its dark poison. One scarcely notices the initial sting.
All my life I had been searching. (By the way, I am 64 now.) I felt either really good or really down, and as I got older my down periods went on longer and longer.However, I went on with life, and I put on a good front. No one ever knew anything was ever wrong.
Robin Williams was first a comedian who happened to be suffering from mental health issues. He was not trying to mask his mental illness any more than I was trying to mask my mental health illness with preaching.
This guide helps to identify the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues for college students and where and when to seek help.
“In a typical congregation of 200 adults, 50 will experience depression at some point, and at least 30 are currently taking antidepressants.” (Dan Blazer, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University, in Christianity Today, March 2009). What could that mean for your church's preaching, programming, pastoral care, and congregational care?
The National Empowerment Center maintains a list of consumer-run organizations that encompass the entire state or large parts of states. These organizations can be contacted for consumer support groups or programs in their respective states.