The Church and Mental Illness

“There are so many board and care facilities in the shadows of our steeples and we don’t even know they are there.” These very words jumped off the page at me as I researched my final paper for my Loss and Grief class during seminary. How often do these words ring true for the church? How can the church be better about reaching out to those who daily struggle with one of the many mental health issues in our world?

I’m over at Anita’s sharing about a topic near and dear to my heart. Join me Here!

2 thoughts on “The Church and Mental Illness

  1. Everyone needs to keep sharing every varied aspect of the mental health/illness story as publicly as possible. From my own perspective, you may remember I actually have several disorders that meet DSM criteria (panic disorder, claustrophobia, "something OCD-ish," and abdominal migraine, that technically is neurological, not GI, and treated with both neuro and psych drugs)—as well as a multi-generational family history of serious psych illnesses.

    I think of the human cost of your Momma's illness and also of mine; although I'm almost astonished – but not quite, since like you I'm persistent, resilient, and hard-working – at how far I've come and the gains I've made, the mis-dx of schizophrenia cost me the years of service in church and world I minimally could have expected; I lost the music school and seminary friends I expected to grow older with; the huge employment gap that employees read as incarceration, addiction, or mental illness, led to total inability to find employment in any of my fields. I think you know how grateful I am for my design skills and for the freelance design gigs I've been getting, but…

    Also, even carefully in person and only with people of long acquaintance, absolutely no one seems to have understood my attempts to explain I flew down a flight of stairs and sustained a brain injury I didn't figure out until a long time afterwards, and in the intervening years my seeking an answer for my persistently flat affect led to a mis-dx of a major psychotic illness, etc. As one of my psychotherapists said in plain English, "people are so ignorant about mental health." Like you, I haven't always been the best advocate for myself or others, but like you, I'm trying to be open and trying to communicate. Still excited about your book!

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