Mental health issues aren’t all in your head according to this interesting article. External issues like trauma can exacerbate mental illness which means that it’s not just about our brains. It’s also about poverty, abuse, abandonment, and bullying. (Politically partisan comment: how is our government supporting mental health programs?)
Along the same lines there are “protective factors” that can make things better – like “a strong network of friends and a willingness to engage with therapy.” Thanks be to God.
I’m home for exactly one day after the NEXT Church National Gathering followed by my clergywomen’s preaching group before heading out again for another work gathering of people who love the Church. I am profoundly and unspeakably blessed. I just celebrated a birthday which made me feel deeply loved. Many people do not have this.
Depression is part of my life and I love that there are “protective factors” that can make it better. I’m speaking to church leaders here: get a group of people together who love you and want you to thrive in ministry. It will save your life (and by that I mean that God will save our lives through community.)
To have a church, we need to be the church. Love God’s people. Show up. Tell them – in love – when they need to cut back/make a change/stand up/ stop being a jerk.
We can actually develop Protective Factors which will be very helpful in dealing with day to day mental health issues. We can also be those Protective Factors.
Image of The Preaching Roundtable, established 1999.