Faith leaders and those interested in service to the mentally ill and/or dual diagnosis (also working with those individuals who have an addiction.) Read attached paper regarding how you can effectively address those in your congregation. 1 in 4 families will deal with a mental illness in any give year. 25% of your members are keeping a secret and they are waiting for it to be safe to come out and not deal with stigma, but love and support, as they would in any other illness.
I found this story to really capture the mind and spirit of the topic. Great read
Today, I thought about my suicide. Why did I want to die? I didn’t want to die. I wanted to be free. Free from what? Free from feeling this unending mental hell torture. When I am suicidal, there is no fear of death. Death is welcomed.
Why? That makes no sense. It isn’t supposed to make sense. If it were supposed to make sense, then there would be some answers. Why am I bipolar? Why have all my friends passed me up in life? Why have I failed not one but two marriages? Why can’t I seem to find someone who will love me like that again? Why are there other people with bipolar who have their Doctorate degrees and I am still trying to get out of the bed? The whys. They come and I am left feeling loss. What loss? I feel loss of myself. Who am I? Why was I created? Did I fail God?
Then I remember this feeling is my disease, my disorder. These feelings will not stay forever. I have been here before and I made it through. God loves me. He said He would never leave me. He is holding me now. I did not fail Him.
Then I try to remember I am loved. I have a family who loves me. I have friends who love me. Most of all, when I feel like I have failed family and friends, I always know that God loves me. Knowing that God loves me has given me the determination to live on many days I thought would be my last.
Today, I thought about my suicide. I don’t think that is what I’ll do. Today, I will live. Today I will fight back the tears. Today I will remember that I am loved, that I am important and that I matter.
What will you be doing today?