National Mental Health Awareness Month
Depression. Bipolar Disorder. Schizophrenia. Mania. Anxiety. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Eating Disorders. Sleep Disorders. Autuism. Disassociative Disorder. Oppositional Defiance Disorder. The list goes on and on.
Mental health issues and mental illnesses leave those who suffer AND those who care for them feeling left out, sidelined, and sitting in the shadows. When we turn to the most natural source of comfort—the church—we often find ourselves misunderstood, hopeless and plagued by platitudes.
Not only do people with mental health issues face a stigma, but they face a double stigma from fellow Christians. All too often Christians feel that people who suffer from mental health issues should be able to ‘pray away anxiety’ and ‘seek scriptures for schizophrenia.’ They confuse mental illness for spiritual darkness and bandy about advice that does nothing to address the symptoms (believe me, I’m guilty of this, too).
During the month of May, we’ll be hosting a series that addresses some of the following questions for National Mental Health Awareness Month:
- How should we as church members and part of the body of Christ respond when a fellow Chrisian faces a mental health crisis?
- What does it feel like to suffer from a mental health issue and receive nothing but condemnation and promises of prayer from the church?
- How should Christians respond when their service is disrupted by that kid-in-church-who-just-doesn’t-behave-and-it-must-be-the-parent’s-fault?
- How can I as a Christian come alongside someone who is suffering and #DoNoHarm?
The purpose of this series is to provide a safe place for Christians to share and discuss the mental health issues that are their reality. Mental health issues hurt more than just the person with the diagnosis. It’s time to stop the (double) stigma and educate ourselves with stories from the shadows that give us insight, hope and spread compassion.
If you have a story to share or professional advice to offer, we’d love to hear from you. It is by giving voices to our stories and shedding light on the issues that we can bring those who suffer out of the shadows and provide a framework of compassionate and appropriate responses from Christians.Let's all join together to #stopthestigma surrounding #mentalhealth issues. Find out more #DoNoHarm Click To Tweet
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES for the #DoNoHarm Series
- Posts should be written in first person and address some aspect of mental health from either a person with a mental health issue’s perspective or a caregiver or family member’s perspective.
- We are looking for posts between 600-1000 words.
- Keep it clean and family friendly.
- Include a short bio with a recent photo of yourself. If you want to remain anonymous, that’s ok, too. Just let us know.
- We will link back to your blog and promote your guest post on social media (if you want).
- On the day your post goes live, you are welcome to respond to any comments left by our readers.
- Preference will be given to posts submitted in HTML format (it’s not that difficult to do, and we’ll walk you through it if you don’t know how!).
- We reserve the right to make minor formatting changes if necessary for clarity.
- STILL INTERESTED?
Please fill in the feedback form and in the form’s comments section give a brief synopsis of what you’d like to write about. We will contact you for more information if we think your post would be a good fit for our series.
If you’d be so kind as to share this post on your social media, I would really appreciate it. There are people out there with stories to share and people who need to hear them!
Inspire Me Monday Instructions
What’s your inspirational story? Link up below, and don’t forget the 1-2-3s of building community:
1. Link up your most inspirational post from the previous week (just ONE, please).
2. Vist TWO other contributors (especially the person who linked up right before you) and leave an encouraging comment.
3. Spread the cheer THREE ways! Tweet something from a post you read, share a post on your Facebook page, stumble upon it, pin it or whatever social media outlet you prefer—just do it!
Please link back to this week’s post or add the button to your post so that we can spread the inspirational cheer :).I'm joining my friends @blestbutstrest and @caregiver mom for an #inspirational link up. Check out the great stories! Click To Tweet
So, go ahead! Take the plunge and share your most inspiring post with us!