Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year according to the National Alliance on Mental Health. Anxiety disorders and depression are among the conditions they can suffer from.
It struck my family. Mental health has been a part of my family’s struggles for over a decade. Fortunately, we have some friends who have supported us in a number of ways.
Mental Health and the Church
We are called to LOVE. What a great opportunity for the church to show God’s love to those who are affected by mental illness, including family and friends of those suffering.
Unfortunately, most pastors don’t mention it much, if ever. Even when a pastor personally suffers from a mental illness (almost 25% of pastors say they have), they are reluctant to admit it publicly.
This leaves many people who suffer from mental illness feeling unloved and abandoned by the church. It doesn’t help that there are some who believe mental illness is always the direct result of demon influences or unrepented sin.
I am thankful for pastors, like Rick Warren and Perry Noble, who have publicly discussed their personal or family’s struggles with depression and other mental illnesses. Although the topic remains taboo in many Christian circles, this kind of courage demonstrated gives hope for a change in the future.
Overwhelmed Bible Study
Perry Noble wrote a book and Bible study to help those who suffer from stress, anxiety and worry. He discusses his own struggle with depression. He shares what he learned in overcoming the battle against stress and anxiety.
Overwhelmed was a tremendous help to me. I am now going to share it with others as a Bible study in small groups.
If busyness, stress, anxiety and worry are topics that keep surfacing in your small group, I recommend you consider adding this Bible study to your future plans as well.
Question: How have you been affected by mental health issues? How does your church support those who suffer from it? You can leave a comment by clicking here.