Really great article here from Ed Stetzer. We are getting better at this in the church world but we still have a long way to go.
A Gap in Awareness. There was a significant gap in what pastors said their churches provided and what family members said was available. In six of the nine typical types of care referenced in the survey, fewer family members than pastors believed their churches offered such help.
This was particularly true for churches maintaining a list of experts to which people could be referred. Almost seven in 10 (68%) pastors said their churches had such a list. Less than three in 10 (28%) family members had the same perception.
The Views of Those with Mental Illness. Much like their family members, those personally suffering from mental illness and who also regularly attend church believe more could be done to help them.
Here are the ways a majority said the Church could assist them:
- 74%: help families find local resources for support and dealing with the illness
- 63%: talk about it openly so the topic is not so taboo
- 61%: improve people’s understanding of what mental illness is and what to expect
- 58%: provide training for the Church to understand mental illness
- 57%: increase awareness of how prevalent mental illness is today
For many suffering from a mental illness, they simply want to be treated as people and not outcasts. Overall, 70% of Protestants with a mental illness wanted fellow church members to merely get to know them as a friend. For consistent church attenders, that number climbed to 78%. They just want to be treated like a person, which sometimes even those in ministry can forget to do.
click here for the entire article.