Day 6: If I could do anything as a Health Activist...


If I could do anything as a Health Activist, I would educate churches about mental illness. Far too many well-meaning Christians tell people that if they had enough faith then they wouldn’t be depressed, anxious, etc. When a person is struggling with a physiologically-based disorder, faith typically will not make it “go away.” God is certainly able to heal, but He doesn’t always do so.

I also know of people with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia who have been told that they have a demon, and who have attended exorcisms. This too, can be very dangerous to a person’s mental health. I’d like to work with clergy to help them better understand mental illness, and how to better minister to people whose lives are touched by it.

I am available to speak at churches or with church staffs to share resources and possible ministry ideas with them. I try to blog about such things to bring to light this topic that is often kept in the dark due to the stigma – I truly believe the stigma exists because people don’t understand. I want to do my part to bring understanding.

I address some of these topics in my book (which I hope to publish soon), and I pray that it will also be a resource for those with mental illness and those who love them.

This post was written as part of NHBM – 30 health posts in 30 days: http://bit.ly/vU0g9J

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Tears to Joy: Day 6: If I could do anything as a Health Activist...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 6: If I could do anything as a Health Activist...


If I could do anything as a Health Activist, I would educate churches about mental illness. Far too many well-meaning Christians tell people that if they had enough faith then they wouldn’t be depressed, anxious, etc. When a person is struggling with a physiologically-based disorder, faith typically will not make it “go away.” God is certainly able to heal, but He doesn’t always do so.

I also know of people with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia who have been told that they have a demon, and who have attended exorcisms. This too, can be very dangerous to a person’s mental health. I’d like to work with clergy to help them better understand mental illness, and how to better minister to people whose lives are touched by it.

I am available to speak at churches or with church staffs to share resources and possible ministry ideas with them. I try to blog about such things to bring to light this topic that is often kept in the dark due to the stigma – I truly believe the stigma exists because people don’t understand. I want to do my part to bring understanding.

I address some of these topics in my book (which I hope to publish soon), and I pray that it will also be a resource for those with mental illness and those who love them.

This post was written as part of NHBM – 30 health posts in 30 days: http://bit.ly/vU0g9J

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3 Comments:

At November 6, 2011 at 8:13 AM , Blogger Heather said...

I know that at the time that things were darkest for me, I was too ashamed to go to the church and be vulnerable and honest enough to allow them to see my frailty. Truly, depression is a tool of the devil, meant to prevent Christians from being effective. I'm not sure an exorcism is the proper way to fix that... @@ <--- eyeroll. But what an amazing thing can be done in someone's life when Christians intervene in prayer for those who are discouraged. And for Christians to know that someone is suffering, we have to be non-judgmental and accepting enough to foster an environment where people can feel emboldened to share their burdens.
*hugs*
heather

 
At November 6, 2011 at 8:27 AM , Blogger Natalie said...

Heather, I completely agree. I think a lot of Christians don't really understand depression and want people to "snap out of it." You and I both know that's not possible. People who are depressed need love in action through prayer and support.

 
At November 11, 2011 at 9:18 PM , Anonymous Elizabeth Goodman said...

Natalie, You don't know how many people I've heard say those same things you posted. It's true that what needs is just education in what the topic is at hand. I realize that when I was giving you articles on Michael's illness, it was really other people that needed to read those articles. Wow, such truth in what you wrote.

 

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