Living Our Faith: Mental illness and the church

440

How can families, friends, parishes identify and support those who struggle with mental health?

A community member holds up a Bible during a July vigil in Baton Rouge, La. The message posted at a retreat center always seems to underscore this Scripture passage's concern for our anxiety: "Sometimes the Lord calms the storm, and sometimes he lets the storm rage and calms his child." (CNS/Jeffrey Dubinsky, Reuters)
A community member holds up a Bible during a July vigil in Baton Rouge, La. The message posted at a retreat center always seems to underscore this Scripture passage’s concern for our anxiety: “Sometimes the Lord calms the storm, and sometimes he lets the storm rage and calms his child.” (CNS/Jeffrey Dubinsky, Reuters)

Mental illness is experienced by one in five U.S. adults each year, and awareness and action on the part of Catholic parishes is essential. Welcome and inclusion of such individuals is the only option for a Catholic community that promotes respect for life.
Apart from the assistance of the parish community, professionals and friends, believers can also turn to Scripture in times of crisis. Scripture helps us find peace in the presence of God and supports us in a moment of trouble.