Yesterday, as I was scrolling through Facebook, I came across a Facebook post that really really bothered me. The post came from what looked like a television weather source somewhere and read the words “Missing Person: Police are searching for mother nature. She is bi-polar and believed to be off her meds.” The first time I saw this post, my skin began to crawl and I couldn’t shake how awful this post is.
You see, I know all too well the realities of living with mental illness in my family. I am the oldest daughter of a woman who lives daily with a mental illness. Our mom had a nervous breakdown right after my little sister was born. So I haven’t known different. I would say at least once a year, my mom would end up in the hospital due to this illness. I have seen my mom at her highest highs and her lowest lows, yet she is one of the most faith filled woman that I know.
And our story is not the only story of people living with the realities of mental illness. According to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, 43.8 million adults experience mental illness in a given year. (For more facts, look at these statistics!) In other words, mental illness is a reality for far too many people in this world. And when the world gets flippant about posting things like this post on Facebook, we only make it worse.
Mental illness is not something to poke fun at. People who live with this illness are beautiful beloved children of God. They are constantly trying to figure out how to live with their illnesses–what medications work for them etc. When we make it a joke, I believe we make it even harder for them to live in this world.
Friends, I believe we can and should do better!
For more information about the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) social statement on Mental Illness, click HERE!
I am linking up with Holley and Coffee for your Heart and Kristin and Porch Stories.