What Your Facebook Updates Say About You, Your Faith, and Your Mental Health
For the church, the health-promoting benefits of faith and relationship are just one more reason to intentionally engage people struggling with mental health—and to speak openly about how such struggles fit with the overall Christian theology of suffering and redemption. People who struggle with mental health, even chronically, can nonetheless live emotionally stable lives. Doing so often requires ongoing medication and therapy, even occasional hospitalization, but some of the best additional therapies are a loving community and a life-giving connection to God. These are among the most basic and best of what the church has to offer.
Sadly, many people with mental illness turn to the church (more frequently than to any other source of help) and find well-meaning but confused responses, avoidance, or even outright rejection.
So let us gather. And as we do, let us not forget the people who might need the salve of faith-filled community more than anyone: people with mental illness. Like other illness, we should encourage medical intervention and healthy habits. But we must not ignore the power of a community of faith, for both healing and management of disease.
Amy Simpson is author of Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church's Mission (InterVarsity Press). She also serves as editor of Christianity Today's Gifted for Leadership. You can find her at www.AmySimpsonOnline.com and on Twitter @aresimpson.
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