Few things are sadder than mental illness. With it comes a stigma that results in alienation, rejection, misunderstanding and despair. It is more common than people think, with one in five Americans suffering from some form of mental illness. Most churches are ill prepared to welcome people with mental illness and some are outright unfriendly and fearful. Mental Illness Awareness Week is Oct. 3-9 with the National Day of Prayer for Mental illness, Recovery and Understanding on October 5th. There are some excellent resources available on line at
Check out this website and learn how you can become a caring congregation through education, commitment, intentional welcoming and support. It also has a self administered test that helps you determine if you or a family member is suffering from depression. Resources for ministries with veterans are on this website as well. As Veteran’s Day nears (November 11) we need to remember the many veterans who are suffering as a result of service to our country.
How can your church be a more welcoming place and promote mental health for all?