How can the church do a better job of helping people struggling with depression and mental illness?
Since the tragic death of Matthew Warren last week, much online discussion has been taking place about ways Christians can better recognize, and extend meaningful help to, people in our communities who suffer from mental illness.
Depression (and mental illness in general) is not an easy subject to tackle, despite the fact that many of us have had contact or personal experience with it. Depression can be debilitating, frustrating, even deadly. Here are some thought-provoking essays and testimonies we’ve come across on the topic over the last few days.
- A huge roundup of links about Christianity and depression — at The Gospel Coalition
- Can “Real” Christians Be Depressed? — from Relevant Magazine
- The Depression Epidemic — from Christianity Today
- Christianity and Mental Health: Have We Lost Our Faith? — from the Christian Post
- Welcoming the Mystery of Depression — by Tyler Braun
- Christians: Take Depression Seriously — from BeliefNet
- Sarah vs. Evil Overlord Depression — by Sarah Moon
These are just a few of the essays and posts tackling this important issue. As you read through these and other discussions taking place about depression and the church, we hope you’ll join us in praying for the Warren family, and for everyone in your church community who, perhaps unknown to anyone else, is suffering from depression. And we encourage you to spend extra time this week in reflection and prayer as you consider the question: how can I extend Christ-like grace to someone struggling under the weight of depression?
A few specific thoughts to consider:
- Does your own church do a good job of recognizing and helping people in the congregation who suffer from depression?
- Have you ever experienced depression? Was your church aware of your struggle, and if so, how did they act? If their reaction was less than ideal, how do you wish they had acted?
- Do you know somebody in your community struggling with depression? What can you do this week to help them?