Through the efforts of many advocates, thankfully there is a growing awareness of mental illnesses and the struggles of those who live with them. But, on its own, just knowledge of the hurdles faced by individuals living with mental health conditions doesn’t necessarily provide help.
I talked with our members about what others could do to provide support and encouragement. It turns out, there are many ways to assist that aren’t really complicated or take a lot of effort. I’ve made a little list of some simple ways to move beyond mere awareness and into action. Continue reading
Suicide is an issue the church cannot afford to ignore. In a LifeWay Research study nearly a third of churchgoers said they’d lost a close family member or acquaintance to suicide. Of those, over a third said their loved one attended a church at least once a month prior to his or her death.
Those wrestling with suicidal thoughts and those who love them are in the pews of our congregations. Churches have a great responsibility and opportunity to reach out in compassion to those who are struggling. Continue reading
When Mary, a long-time member of The Well Community, passed away un-expectedly, several others from The Well took turns caring for her mother until long-term care could be arranged. Another member, who serves as manager at Jacob’s House, takes time each day to listen compassionately as his housemates talk about the worries on their minds. Sue is always available to say a prayer when someone needs comfort.
Caring relationships are one of the least highlighted yet most important components of recovery for those dealing with severe mental illnesses. Isolation and loneliness are crushing companions when other people don’t reach out and connect. Continue reading
Carol and Murray Arbuckle and friends
When Carol Arbuckle first heard about the need for volunteers at The Well Community through her church, First Baptist Frisco, she and her husband, Murray, had already discussed a desire to do something in service to God beyond giving things and money. Looking back, she sees His hand in bringing the opportunity to serve at The Well to her attention at just the right time. Continue reading
Knowledge about mental illnesses and the people who struggle with them can go a long way in empowering you to come alongside friends and family members dealing with these conditions. As we begin a new year, we encourage you to commit to educating yourself on mental illness and how you can help those who live with mental health challenges. These eight books, including several by Dallas-area authors, are a great place to start. Continue reading
Suicide is often considered a taboo topic. But, the facts about it are too important to keep quiet. In 2014, 3,225 people in Texas lost their lives to suicide. On average, that’s one every three hours.
Each life that’s cut short is one too many. But, knowing the facts about suicide is one of the first steps in breaking the stigma that surrounds it, and in helping those at risk for ending their own lives. Continue reading
Mental illnesses have a ripple effect. The National Alliance on Mental Illness recognizes that the “challenges of mental illness do not only affect an individual’s family members but also friends, teachers, neighbors, coworkers and others in the community.” Often, those who serve as caregivers are impacted the most. Continue reading
Schizophrenia is one of the most debilitating mental illnesses. It’s also among the most misunderstood. This serious, chronic disease can cause hallucinations, delusions and difficulty concentrating, as well as social withdrawal and emotional unresponsiveness. And, due to misunderstandings about this condition, those who are already struggling often deal with social prejudice as well. Continue reading
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and it’s the perfect time to learn more about the mental health conditions that affect 43.8 million Americans every year—including people you know. Learning about mental illnesses is the first step to standing up against stigma and supporting those who struggle.
1. Mental illness is common.
Mental illnesses are more common than cancer, diabetes or heart disease. One in five Americans experiences an episode of mental illness each year. Continue reading