Marja Bergen

author, mental health advocate, follower of Christ

Category: Being equals (page 1 of 4)

The pain of rejection

BOUNDARIES OR STIGMA? In 2017, during a difficult time of my life, I wrote the following: For a long time the concept of boundaries didn’t make sense to me. It hurt when I was shut out of various peoples lives. Oh, Lord, it hurt! How could I tell all I want to tell? How can I […]

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Is “godly” support such a good thing?

EQUALITY IN MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT I write this from a personal experience of receiving support from one or two kind people in particular—people who became dear to me. And I wonder if there might be other good Christian individuals like them who mean well when caring for a person with mental health issues, only to […]

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We’re not so different

MENTAL HEALTH AND BUILDING UNDERSTANDING As a person with mental health issues who has helped many like herself, I worry when I see people like us portrayed as victims—a class of people set apart from others, needing special care and consideration. We are as human as anyone else and every one of us will need […]

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Narrowing the gap that divides

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS IN THE CHURCH After many years of fighting to overcome the stigma of mental illness in the Church, starting with publication of a couple of articles for the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division in 2005 and 2006, I’m coming to see that “well” people will never truly understand what it is […]

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As brothers and sisters

MENTAL HEALTH AND EQUALITY   Those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  Romans 8:29   Just before he passed away, Narayan Vaman Tilak (1861-1919). a famous convert to Christianity in India,  wrote the following to a […]

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Equality between mentally ill and healthy

WHEN BOUNDARIES NEED TO BE APPLIED I’m sensitive to being treated with disrespect. Isn’t everyone? I’m as human as the next person and believe I deserve to be treated that way. And yet, so often, even amongst people who I had thought to be kind, this sense of equality seems not to be understood. I […]

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We need more than acceptance alone

MENTAL ILLNESS AND EQUALITY Much has been done to build better mental health awareness in the church. Yet there’s room for better understanding. And a lot more needs to happen than acceptance alone. People with mental health issues are no different than others in wanting to be considered to have equal worth. And yet it’s […]

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Give us a voice of our own

A few months ago I published a little booklet called We Are Real People. One of the points it makes is that we are not always given the opportunity to speak for ourselves.  Others speak for us, expressing our needs, speaking about us. But do they really know us or understand us? We need to develop […]

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Accepted and valued

  On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:12,13   I guess I’ve been angry far too long about how people […]

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Christian support for mental wellness

ALL OF US TOGETHER Much has been done to increase awareness about mental health in the church. But there’s room for better understanding. A lot more needs to happen than simple acceptance alone. People with mental health issues are no different in wanting to be regarded as having equal worth with others. It’s common for […]

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