From the Acting Director
I am not a physician, nor a counsellor, so I have no specialist knowledge of mental illness. But I do believe that mental illnesses such as depression and bipolarity are real illnesses. They are real, just as diabetes and arthritis are real. Mental illness is real. Sometimes it can be cured. Sometimes it can be alleviated or held at bay. Sometimes it lessens with time; sometimes it worsens with time. There is much about mental illness that remains mysterious.
And mental illness is present, unobserved, within our congregations. Just as I have been taking medication for years for hypertension, others are taking medication against anxiety. If I can happily take anti-cholesterol pills, why should I be troubled about someone else taking tablets for depression? All of us are damaged creatures in some way, less than the beings our Creator would want us to be, and we need all the help we can get. Yet within that, as Paul McIntosh points out, each one of us bears the ‘imago Dei’. That is a central part of our anthropology, whether ill or not ill. There is something about each one which is to be valued.
Why is it that church people sometimes have special difficulties interacting with the mentally unwell?
Click below for the WIT Newsletter on Mental Health: