The church and mental illness

“One in four families sitting in the pews has a member dealing with mental illness. Yet our religious communities are often silent when it comes to understanding mental disorders as treatable illnesses. Persons struggling with a mental illness and their family members often become detached from their faith communities and their spirituality, which could be an important source of healing, wholeness and hope in times of personal darkness.” - Mental Illness and Families of Faith: How Congregations Can Respond

There is so much about that opening paragraph that breaks my heart. A fourth of the people sitting in churches are affected by mental illness and yet the church is silent, perpetuating feelings of condemnation and the associated stigmas. 

There are a number of reasons behind the church’s silence, according to Lifeway research,

  • few churches have plans to assist families affected by mental illness,

  • few churches are staffed with a counselor skilled in mental illness,

  • fhere is a lack of training for leaders on how to recognize mental illness,

  • there is a need for churches to communicate to congregations about local mental health resources, and

  • there is a stigma and culture of silence that leads to shame.

At Centerpoint Church, we are purposely putting an end to the silence. We have felt the effects of mental illness in our gathering. We know that mental illness is a real issue and believe that there is real hope. 

Here is how we are addressing address mental illness within the church:

  • We have plans in place to assist you and your loved one who is struggling.

  • We offer counseling at our South Campus. To set up an appointment with one of our counselors, call 813-689-1906.

  • We are working to educate our staff and our congregation on the truths around mental illness through sermon series and blog posts.

  • We are confronting the stigmas head on and putting an end to the culture of silence and shame.

The church should be the safest place in the world for those with mental illness. At Centerpoint, we feel called to make that statement a reality.