Author Topic: Mental Health Awareness Month  (Read 557 times)

D. Engebretson

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Mental Health Awareness Month
« on: May 17, 2021, 10:29:09 AM »
Since 1948 May has been designated as Mental Health Awareness Month.

With the pandemic we certainly had a greater than usual need for mental health professionals and their services.  These men and women were also essential front line workers. 

As a pastor I have ministered to or interacted with people with a variety of mental disorders including depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder, which includes over 18% of Americans.  I have also ministered to a member with DID, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder.  As a chaplain I have dealt with depression and suicide, among other stresses.  I took training in Critical Incident Stress Management early in my chaplain service, recognizing the unique mental health strains of first responders who sometimes suffer from PTSD. 

There was a time when mental disorders were stigmatized in church settings, and even in my earlier years it was quite common to hear people speak disparagingly of "going to the shrink."  Pastors and chaplains often serve as front line mental health workers out of necessity, so they know firsthand the real world challenges in this area. 

So a prayer is in order for those who work with these troubled people.  May the mercy of Christ always be extended and evidenced as we reach out in love and care!

« Last Edit: May 17, 2021, 10:31:07 AM by D. Engebretson »
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Terry W Culler

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Re: Mental Health Awareness Month
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2021, 10:46:17 AM »
Not only have I dealt with some of these in ministry, I have experienced depression in my own life and continue to take meds for it and I have a daughter who is bi-polar albeit successfully treated now after years of ups and downs.  But I notice that you omitted borderline personality disorder which seems from my discussions with other pastors to be the most common mental health disorder clergy have to deal with.  I remember one of my sem. profs. said the question isn't whether or not a pastor will have to deal with a person in that category, but how many during your ministry.
"No particular Church has ... a right to existence, except as it believes itself the most perfect from of Christianity, the form which of right, should and will be universal."
Charles Porterfield Krauth

Dan Fienen

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Pr. Daniel Fienen