As a United Methodist Minister and a person who has struggled with depression, I started Mental Health Ministries with a vision of producing high quality resources to reduce the stigma of mental illness in our faith communities. I experienced firsthand the reluctance of our faith communities to talk about or to minister to persons with a mental illness and their families. Too often mental illness is thought of as a moral or spiritual failure rather than a treatable illness. Many persons with a mental health issue will go first to their clergy or faith leader. But studies show that many clergy are not effective in providing the support and referrals that individuals and their families need.
Helping faith communities become caring congregations is my passion. The response I receive from groups using our resources to educate about mental illness is overwhelming. I've had the privilege of speaking at conferences and seminars nationwide to give the message that hope and recovery are possible. When mental illness is openly discussed, people will come out of the shadows. It is my prayer that our congregations will be there to surround them with the care and compassionate support. Hope is a gift our faith communities can give to all of us who struggle with these disorders of the brain.