Marja Bergen

author, mental health advocate, follower of Christ

Category: Mental illness and the church (page 1 of 10)

Mental health awareness in the church

  ITS GREAT FLAW Much Is being done to teach would-be supporters about various forms of mental health challenges. Yet I see a great problem with this. To put the primary focus on people’s mental health needs is to take away from seeing them as the people they are—people just like you and me. Those […]

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How can we help . . . as Jesus once did?

HEALING THE EFFECTS OF STIGMA Introducing a booklet that will show you how. This 48-page book follows upon the recent publication of my book, In the Name of Jesus: Spiritual Support for Mental Health Challenges, which shows the pain and suffering of those who have been stigmatized because of their mental health challenges. It shows […]

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Determined to make a difference

A FIRM PLACE TO STAND  (2008)- EXCERPT If I go up to the heavens, you are there. If I make my bed in the depths you are there. (Psalm 139:8) The last straw, the final thing that started my mind working overtime and threw me into a dangerous mood disturbance—was my renewed recognition of the […]

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A historic lecture at regent college

In my roller coaster blog I wrote the following on November 8, 2011: Tomorrow  I take part in Sharon Smith’s lecture at Regent College, speaking to upcoming pastors. Sharon is the founder of Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries. I will tell them what it’s like to live with bipolar disorder. I will describe what my life […]

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Faith promoted at a mental health conference

GROWING Written in my blog, in November 2009: My moods continue to go up and down. And when I feel ok, it’s as though I’m walking a tightrope, trying to maintain my balance so I don’t fall one way or another. Amazing how many symptoms there are to watch out for. And each time one […]

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Let the Church be the Church

THE CHURCH, MENTAL ILLNESS, AND US Jesus came to love and to heal those who are sick. And that should be the Church’s role. Teaching about mental illness is good, but it does nothing to remove stigma or discrimination. It does the opposite. It only serves to point out how our disabilities make us different […]

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My disability gave me a reason to live

DISABILITY AS A GIFT As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. […]

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Invitation to Launch of Justice for All

  HISTORY BOOK PROMOTES CONFIDENCE AND SELF-ESTEEM Author Marja Bergen had many reasons for writing her recently-released book, Justice for All. The primary reason was to instill confidence in those who need encouragement to be all they can be—those who want a more meaningful life. The book looks at the stories of twelve of history’s […]

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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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