We all experience emotional ups and downs from time to time caused by events in our lives. Mental health conditions go beyond these emotional reactions and become something longer lasting. They are medical conditions that cause changes in how we think and feel and in our mood. They are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing.
With proper treatment, people can realize their full potential, cope with the stresses of life, work productively and meaningfully contribute to the world. Without mental health we cannot be fully healthy.
Yet, understanding mental health conditions isn't only about being able to identify symptoms and having a name for these conditions. It’s about a place of worship that can be a safe space for people where they can feel welcomed and have an instant sense of support and community. Education and awareness are valuable keys to shattering the silence, stigma and barriers that surround persons who are mentally ill. By dispelling myths, ignorance and fear, congregations can liberate persons touched by mental illness to share their struggles, seek help, regain hope and set out on a new course toward recovery.
And for many individuals and families, faith plays a significant role in their recovery experience. Join Maria Patrick Oakley at our ADULT FORUM session after worship on October 15 as she shares her experiences as an individual living with mental illness and how we can as a congregation provide a safe a supportive community for individuals and families living with mental health concerns.