Mental illness and the mission of the Church
By: Live the Promise
There’s a strong stigma in our world today surrounding depression, bipolar disorder, and many other forms of mental illness. Author and speaker Amy Simpson joins Susie for a look at how to understand and support those living with mental illness. Amy’s book is Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission.
Amy shares her own experience growing up with a mother who battled schizophrenia. “She’d have a hard time reading, following a sermon. Often she couldn’t connect with other people and sometimes she would zone out or isolate herself for long periods of time. The reality is that her brain was not functioning normally. Her illness has been the source of the greatest pain my life but God has been so faithful to me and my family… since I’ve written this book I’ve have a front row seat to see God’s redemption in people’s lives.”
Susie and Amy explore several aspects of mental health, including
• The definition of a mental illness – a medical condition that disrupts our life and ability to perform daily tasks.
• The medical categories.
- Anxiety disorders
– Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders, or ADHD
– Autism spectrum disorders
– Mood disorders
– Personality disorders
• How to approach a loved one who refuses treatment.
• Resources available for treatment.
• What not to say to someone who has been diagnosed.
• The role of prayer in the journey with mental illness.
• How the church can be a safe place – a “hospital” in Susie’s words – for those who battle depression, anxiety, autism, and other disorders.
Mental illness is something that is not often addressed in the Church. What are the right steps to take in order to remove the stigma? Amy recommends that churches start support groups for those who live with a disorder and regularly address mental health in sermons with love and gentleness rather than condemnation and judgment.
Key Scriptures: Romans 8:35-39
Featured Songs: Greater by MercyMe
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