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One in four families sitting in the pews has a member dealing with mental illness. Yet our religious communities are often silent when it comes to understanding mental disorders as treatable illnesses. Persons struggling with a mental illness and their family members often become detached from their faith communities and their spirituality, which could be an important source of healing, wholeness and hope in times of personal darkness.
Published in The Christian Citizen (Vol. 2, 2014), a publication of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies.
A supportive faith community can provide hope, support and the feeling of being connected to something bigger: a place where people are accepted for who they are. But unfortunately not all congregations offer this refuge to individuals who are dealing with mental illness or to their family members.
Published by It's Up To Us to Create a Healthy & Supportive San Diego, Spring 2013
The hustle of the holiday season has arrived. While festive decorations, sweet treats and images of Santa Claus are exciting for most children, holidays can be difficult for kids who struggle with social, emotional or behavioral challenges. One year, my five-year-old was anxious that Santa Claus-- whom she identified as a stranger she had only met once at the mall—was coming into our house on Christmas night. She couldn’t sleep until we reassured her that we would not allow him in that year. For kids who are anxious, many things about the holidays can be uncomfortable--the details of holiday travel, altered schedules, and even attention from infrequently-seen relatives...
First published by Persevering Parent Ministries. Article written by Karen Crum, Dr.PH, Persevering Parent Ministries.
In recent years much has been done to de stigmatise the language used around mental health and in Australia we have wonderful organisations like Beyond Blue, The Black Dog Institute and Sane to name just a few doing wonderful work...
Published by The Brave Discussion, August 2011
The church as one thinks of it serves different purposes in the lives of different people. For some, it is their opportunity each week to leave the outside world behind and reconnect with God. For others, it is a social occasion or perhaps even simply just an obligation. But what of those who absolutely need the church as a rock in their lives, those who struggle daily against the workings of their own minds? Are they able to see the church as not only a place to find spiritual wholeness, but mental wholeness as well? The hope of the Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder of Mental Health Ministries in San Diego, Calif., is that soon they will be able to do just that.
Published by the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry, April 2011. Article writen by Aaron Cross.
As an ordained minister and a person who lives with a mental illness, I am often asked why it is so difficult for many spiritual leaders to talk openly about mental illness.
Article written by Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder.
When our daughter was first diagnosed with a mental illness, we prayed and prayed that God would take this terrible disease from her. We wanted it to be gone. She wanted it to be gone. No one should be suffering so. Other people were cured of their diseases. They took special medications or had surgery. They listened to everything the doctors told them and they prayed for their disease to be gone….and for many of them it was. There was a cure. Couldn’t there be a cure from our daughter’s mental illness too?
Article written by One Mind Mental Illness Ministry.
What do a Reverend, a Rabbi and a Muslim imam have in common? It may sound like the beginning of an old-time joke, but this time there is no punch line. The 2009 NAMI Annual Convention in San Diego provided workshops on faith and mental illness hosted by the FaithNet Advisory Council to share innovative ideas and projects underway in the grassroots communities.
First published by NAMI Advocate, Fall 2009. Article written by Karen Costa.
At one United Methodist Church in central Kentucky, members always turned up with cards, visits and gifts of food whenever a church family faced a crisis. But when someone in Angie O’Malley’s family was diagnosed with a mental illness in the 1990s, that didn’t happen.
First published by The United Methodist Portal. Article by Bill Fentum.
In the fall of 1991, I found myself in a deep depression. I was in my third year as a pastor at a large urban church in San Diego. I was enjoying my career and the opportunity to serve others. But a series of unexpected events hit me like waves until I was overwhelmed by despair. Little did I know that my journey in the darkness would lead to the discovery of a deep and abiding hope.
Published in Esperanza Magazine, Spring 2008. Article written by Susan Gregg-Schroeder.
THE ROAD HOME from war can be more challenging than the road to war for both combatants and their families. While the reunion is wonderful, after the reunion there may be a difficult period of transition and readjustment. For those who serve in the military ("soldiers") and families with faith, their faith community can be a crucial partner in this process.
I recently went through the anxiety of waiting for the results of a biopsy for possible breast cancer. Gratefully, the biopsy turned out to be benign. But the ten days of waiting and wondering brought forth many feelings.
How many families in your church have a loved one who struggles with mental health problems? That's kind of a trick question. People don't talk about mental health problems.
First published by Vision New England's Ministries with the Disabled, Acton, MA. Article written by Carlene Hill Byron.
Perhaps soon, faith communities will be recognized for their unique perspective that offers healing of the spirit, a way to hold together the fabric of a ravaged community, and hope for the future.
Published by the NAMI Advocate, Fall 2005.
Part of my journey has been to understand my bleakest times as times of fertile darkness.