Indifference toward mental illness is a position of privilege. Why? If you are able to turn a blind eye to a problem, then you are more than likely untouched by that problem. Or at least you think you are. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, one in five adults (or 46.6 million Americans) will experience mental illness this year, and according to Mental Health First Aid, only 41% of those people will receive professional health care or other services. To not care about mental illness is to not care about the people around you, people in your own family, your friends and co-workers.
As Christians, when one of us rejoices, we all rejoice. In the same manner, when one of us suffers, we all suffer (1 Corinthians 12:26). Not caring about mental illness, even if it only affects one person in our community, is wrong. The decision to turn a blind eye to semi- or blatantly hurtful jokes and comments is a silent affirmation of stigmas being perpetuated. When you and I refuse to stand in the gap and be the difference, we are actually making it harder for those who struggle to step through our front door.
Even if you are apathetic toward our church’s stance on mental health awareness, do not express it in the form of offensive jokes and distasteful comments. Those who walk through our doors are valued and welcomed. Every human being is made in the image of God and deserves dignity and respect. In fact, call the office. We encourage you to sit down with us and ask questions about why this is an important part of who we are as a Christian community.
Choosing to not care does make you a part of the problem. There is no way around that. We are called to serve one another, to listen to each other, to do life together and to love one another. Turning a blind eye when our sister or brother is struggling is not love; it is hate.
Discover more about the mental health resources offered at Centerpoint Church.