Resources on Mental Illness

by Pastor David McNeely
On Sunday, December 1, 2019 we addressed the topic of mental illness.  We knew it would be impossible to give an exhaustive treatment of the subject.  That sermon had a narrow focus:  to provide a biblical view of mental illness.  It was not designed to equip God’s people on how to live with it or how to love those affected by it.  

Below are a few of the best resources I came across.  That statement is “thus saith David,” and not “thus saith the Lord.”  In other words, this is not a definitive list of the best resources.  The first resource listed in each category is my highest recommendation.  I pray you find some of these to be helpful.

Websites

  • Mental Health Grace Alliance 
    Amy Simpson describes it well, “This organization is a multi-faceted, Christ-centered resource for people with mental illness and their families. The focus is on recovery and living well with a mental health challenge. They provide support groups for people with mental illness and their families, coaching for people who are working toward recovery from a mental health crisis, and training for leaders.”

  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness
    NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. The Tallahassee affiliate can be found online at  www.nami-tallahassee.org .  NAMI is not a faith based organization but an excellent resource for all.

Articles

  • "Where is God in Mental Illness" is a 2012 article in Relevant Magazine from Evelyn Anne Clausen.  She has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  This quote captures the heart of the article and why I found it to be profoundly helpful:

     “While I can’t honestly say I’m glad to have a mental disorder, I do feel grateful for the way God has used it to enlarge my view of Him as He replaces my simplistic and moralistic childhood faith with something far more substantial: Trust in a God who has promised to complete what I cannot.”
     
  • An interview with Rick Warren. Rick and Kay Warren lost their son to suicide.  This interview was a year after their loss.

  • "Christian Reflections on Mental Illness". Heath Lambert writes a brief article on the complicated nature of mental illness.  He argues against viewing all mental illnesses as either an exclusively spiritual issue or an exclusively physical issue.  At times it can be one or the other.  At other times it can be a combination.

Books

  • Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church's Mission by Amy Simpson

    If you could only read one book on the Christian and mental illness, this would be it.  It is practical and it is driven by statistics with stories.  She excels in providing the church with some simple ways to move towards those affected by mental illness.

  • Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness by Matthew Stanford

    This book is written by an expert on the brain.  It is a bit more academic but not so much that the average person won't be able to follow.  If you want to know more of the science behind mental illness, this is an excellent resource.

  • Christians Get Depressed Too by David Murray

    At just over 100 pages this book should take away the unnecessary shame that overwhelms many Christians who struggle with depression.  It is helpful for anyone who desires to support a loved one battling depression.
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