Know Your Neighbors

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Many people recognize the importance of relating well to our neighbors. Who among us isn’t familiar with Mr. Rodger’s iconic question, “Won’t you be my neighbor?” and who hasn’t heard the Bible’s famous command in both the Old and New Testaments to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18; Mark 12:19-31). Despite

An Epidemic and Experience

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Many are hearing about the current opioid crisis. As a faith leader, it’s tempting to see this crisis as just one more social epidemic. However, in my own faith community I’ve heard multiple people share about their family’s struggles with addiction. I’ve listened to wives, mothers, sisters and sons each

Recognize the Research

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I just returned from a national gathering of professionals looking at the role of faith and spirituality in improving the delivery of care for people with serious mental illness. While I was there to speak as a mental health practitioner and pastor, many others present were professors from major universities.

It Can Begin With You

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A Lifeway study said that 65% of family members of someone with mental illness believe local churches should do more in talking about mental illness openly. I myself have met several people who silently wait week-after-week for their leadership to publicly address the issue of mental illness. However, an increasing

It’s the Same, But Harder

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Over the last year I’ve heard multiple stories of pastors who’ve died by suicide. For some it was after years of dealing with mental health struggles such as anxiety and depression. After learning of such accounts some people have asked me, “What should pastors be doing to better care for their own

The Church Gathered and Scattered

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I recently had two very different conversations with churches in our community. The first conversation started with a church wanting to connect people supported in the public mental health system to their congregation. The church expressed their desire to be as welcoming as possible to those arriving on a Sunday for

A Daily Experience

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This May is Mental Health month. In response, some faith communities have wondered, “so what are we supposed to do any differently this month?” Perhaps a place to start is to reflect together on the reality that this month is an annual reminder of what is actually a daily experience

Fighting Stigma on All Fronts

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Stigma is one of those buzzwords we frequently use without thinking about its actual meaning. While not a complete explanation, one way stigma works is that we draw a negative conclusion about certain people without even knowing them due to a generalized sense of fear. How this type of stigma can be