You’re Not Alone
Too often, individuals are either afraid or embarrassed to admit that they are struggling with their mental and emotional health, and they don’t get the help that they need. In many cases the fear is warranted because there is a great deal of misunderstanding about mental illness. I want to use this brief video to bring some clarity to the matters of mental health and the church.
What is Mental Health?
What are we talking about when we say “mental health”? The diagnostic and statistical manual lists 297 possible mental health diagnoses. Some of these diagnoses require extensive therapy and may need medication support. Some simply need an understanding ear and an empathic friend.
The Christian church has not always been a safe place for people who struggle with mental health. Many mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse have been seen as evidence of sin that deserves condemnation, rather than evidence of disease that deserves care and concern. However, our understanding of mental diagnoses is much greater now. And the church can begin to provide empathy and support to people and their families who are struggling.
How The Church Can Help
I really believe that there are some things that we can do that will help. The church can talk openly about mental health, reminding people that they are not condemned if they struggle and that there is help. We can also normalize the struggle of mental illness so that others realize that they are not alone and isolated.
The church can provide treatment options, like therapeutic referrals and support groups for specific issues, giving individuals resources for help. The church can provide seminars and lessons on how the mind, the body, and the spirit are all connected and give ways to grow in all of these areas so that we can better manage our mental health.
There is Hope for The Church
In the future, my dream is that people will be able to talk openly in church about a husband who struggles with bipolar disorder, a daughter who fights anxiety, or a parent who deals with addiction and find support. We have a long way to go, but we are getting there together.
This is Ken Corr, with a mental health moment.