Mental illness is a hot topic these days. For some it raises red flags of concern; for others it raises eyebrows in judgment. In spite of the fact that the Bible presumes and addresses the brokenness of the human heart and mind (take a look at Psalm 31:12; Proverbs 17:10; Ephesians 2:3; and James 4:8 for a small sampling), mental health—mental wellness or illness—is a subject most Christians know very little about.
Kay Warren lost her son to suicide. Not only did she and her family suffer from the stigma of mental illness, they also found very little support in their church. But that has to change, and it can change.
Watch the Interview
You can be a revolutionary agent of change by incorporating the C.H.U.R.C.H. mental health support model in your church. C.H.U.R.C.H. encourages the body of believers to:
- Care for others
- Help with practical needs
- Utilize volunteers
- Remove stigma
- Collaborate with the community
It’s free, it’s simple—it begins with you.
The greatest model of supporting others is Jesus Christ. He showed up for those in need—tenderly caring for society’s stigmatized. The body of Christ should do that too. Kay shared through the C.H.U.R.C.H. model that each of us can offer support to those in need, regardless of the size of our church or our wallets.
Key Stats That May Surprise You
Here are some key statistics from organizations committed to mental health research:
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- It is estimated that only about 17 percent of U.S. adults are considered to be in a state of optimal mental health.
- Depression is the most common type of mental illness, affecting more than 26 percent of the U.S. adult population.
- It has been estimated that by the year 2020, depression will be second only to ischemic heart disease as the leading cause of disability worldwide.
- Depressive disorders correlate strongly with many chronic diseases including diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and obesity.1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Mental Health Basics,” http://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/basics.htm, accessed Oct. 12, 2015.
From the National Alliance on Mental Illness:
- One in five people worldwide have a mental or neurological disorder at some point in their lives.
- Four hundred fifty million people currently suffer from mental disorders, placing mental illness among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.
- Treatment works, but nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental illness never seek help from a health professional.2National Alliance on Mental Illness, “StigmaBusters: Did You Know?” http://www2.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Take_Action/Fight_Stigma/national_stigma_flyer.pdf, accessed Oct. 12, 2015.
From the World Health Organization, on suicide:
- More than 800,000 people die due to suicide every year.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15–29-year-olds.
- There are indications that for each adult who dies of suicide, there may be more than 20 others who attempted suicide.3World Health Organization, “10 Facts on Mental Health,” http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/mental_health/mental_health_facts/en/, accessed Oct. 12, 2015.
Let Me Hear from You
In what way will you show up?
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|1.||↑||Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Mental Health Basics,” http://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/basics.htm, accessed Oct. 12, 2015.|
|2.||↑||National Alliance on Mental Illness, “StigmaBusters: Did You Know?” http://www2.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Take_Action/Fight_Stigma/national_stigma_flyer.pdf, accessed Oct. 12, 2015.|
|3.||↑||World Health Organization, “10 Facts on Mental Health,” http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/mental_health/mental_health_facts/en/, accessed Oct. 12, 2015.|