We live in an incredibly anxious and depressed culture here in America, and the COVID-19 pandemic, civil unrest and divisive politics have further exacerbated this issue. According to a 2020 report from Mental Health America, more than 47 million adults in our nation are experiencing some form of mental illness. My home state of Texas is one of the lowest ranking in the nation for quality of mental health and treatment for mental illness in adults.
Moreover, across America, approximately 4.4 million children have been diagnosed with anxiety and another 1.9 million have been diagnosed with depression. Most concerning, suicide has become the second leading cause of death among people 10 to 34 years of age.
We have an established mental health crisis on our hands. Sadly, the Christian church has often neglected to respond in a loving and supportive way to those who are struggling with mental health issues. I’m heartbroken to say many people who have sought help and hope within the church have been turned away, shamed or told — sometimes by well-meaning pastors or lay counselors — they just need to “pray harder” or “have more faith.” 2021 is a new year, and it’s time for the Christian church to respond to this crisis in a new way.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jack Graham