Thursday, May 09, 2013
Not Myself Today
I am a little later with today's blog because I set aside the one scheduled to point out that this is the beginning of a mental health awareness initiative called Not Myself Today.
http://www.notmyselftoday.ca/home On CBC radio I heard interviews with an accomplished, athletic teen who has been dealing with depression and a veteran of the Second World War who has lived with post-traumatic stress for more than seventy years. Listening to this man who is now over ninety tearfully explaining the pain he has experienced was very moving.
These interviews put a human face to the simple reality that mental health issues affect individuals of all ages and circumstances. Even those with deep faith can be overwhelmed by stress or anxiety or depression. Not long ago I blogged about the suicide death of 27-year-old Matthew Warren, son of megachurch pastor Rick Warren. I am convinced that Matthew had the support of a loving family which was cognizant of his mental health issues and did everything possible to provide support, including the best medical help. Sadly, it wasn't sufficient because of the depth of his mental illness.
I invite you to say a prayer today for those you know who struggle with mental health issues. Perhaps you might call the friend who deals with depression personally, or is supporting a partner or child living with bipolar illness or schizophrenia. You might resolve to be consciously kind to the person in your congregation who can seem, well, "off" at times because of their illness. Let's follow the example of Christ who so often seemed to be aware that psychological, spiritual, and physical health were all aspects of a whole person.
If you are dealing with mental health issues, God be with you today and everyday. You are loved in Christ and you are a person of profound worth.