Mental Health and the Church
According to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), 60 million Americans experience a mental health condition every year—that’s one in four adults and one in ten children. People of every race, age, religion or economic status are affected. Whether we are aware of it or not, we all know someone who is living with some form of mental illness.
What does the Church have to offer to the mentally ill and their families in light of the multi-layered, complex set of issues that surround mental illness?
Studies have shown the first place many go for help in a mental health crisis is not to a loved one, friend, co-worker or healthcare professional, but to their priest or pastor. Why is that? The heart of God and His Church has always been with those who suffer, making the Church a natural place to seek comfort, guidance and practical help in time of need. For centuries the Church has been a refuge for the outcast, those on the margins, and anyone enduring societal stigma and shame.
From the Gospels, we know that Jesus cared for and ministered to mentally ill people during His ministry on earth. As Christ followers, we are compelled to continue His work today. In Christ’s name, the Church extends compassion, acceptance, and unconditional love to all who suffer from the pain of mental illness, and as His Body, we offer hope and the healing power of God’s grace.
Saddleback’s Mental Health and the Church Initiative exists to equip the Church to minister to those suffering with mental illness. Together we can be the hands and feet of Jesus as we love and serve those with mental illness.
You can listen to sessions from the first Mental Health and the Church seminar at www.mentalhealthandthechurch.com
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