This morning I received a “Care Page” update from a friend whose young daughter is ill with cancer. I appreciate getting the Care Page updates so that I know how people are doing and how best to pray for them. This morning my 16-year-old son had a serious rage.
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This writer has been depressed three times, each lasting three to six months. Two sisters coped with post-partum depression. Dad sought counsel in the past year for depression. Now their son who is 22 years old is trying to cope with it. The son’s depression hurts the most.
Through no aspiration of my own, I’ve become a speaker, writer and advocate for mental illness victims, myself included. My all-American upbringing did little to prepare me for the silent enemy that would eventually claim my life, destroy my soul, shred my heart, and leaving me frail and vulnerable.
Our son was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in the seventh grade. I wrote this Pantoum to capture a snapshot of what he was like before he became ill as well as the initial period of his mental illness. Writing the poem was also therapeutic for me. Thank God, Tim’s mental health has improved.
I grew up with mental illness in the family. I watched my parents struggle to cope with this often-misunderstood disability. Fifty years later, we are still trying to deal with it as everyday the specter of misunderstood behavior invades our otherwise normal lives.
This resource helps congregations develop spiritual care with children and families facing mental health issues, and includes a framework for care and many sample resources.
Here are some ideas for ministry with people who have mental illnesses. These ideas can be used in various ways — such as a bulletin insert, newsletter article, or read from the pulpit.
This guide helps to identify the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues for college students and where and when to seek help.
Churches usually have a welcome sign outside their building. Watch video from this conference encouraging the welcome that is experienced INSIDE the church.