What's Next?

We have come such a long way in recognising and understanding the realities of mental illness.

The statistics are too overwhelming to ignore, and most of us know these are real challenges that many people live with.

Rarely do we deny the existence of depression and anxiety any more (which is great!), but a friend sent me an article by Kay Warren the other day which got me thinking.

Those of us in the church have a good understanding of what mental illness is. We understand the broad brushstrokes of what somebody with depression or anxiety lives with, even if it’s something that not everyone has gone through themselves.

In the interview, Kay Warren states:

All church members can play a role in helping people with mental illness. It starts with a decision to care as Jesus would and then commit to receive training so that we can walk compassionately alongside of these brothers and sisters in pain.
— Kay Warren

The context of her interview is in talking about how we can help those who are wrestling with some of the darkest thoughts of depression. As heavy as this can be, she reveals something important - at a stage where mental health awareness is at an all time high, we need to not only recognise that there is a need, but then to work out how to help cater for those needs.

Walking with those who are struggling can be extremely confronting. And yet we’re called to love all in our midst with the love of Christ.

If we are to do this, it’s now right that we don’t just acknowledge mental illness, but work out our roles as brothers and sisters in the church.

Let's start asking ourselves what we can (and can't) do for those in need with the awareness we now have.

Chris Cipollone