Marja Bergen

author, mental health advocate, follower of Christ

Category: Stigma (page 1 of 9)

Let’s get angry at mental health stigma

  Throughout history, anger has proved to be an instrument of change. It leads to revolutionary action that can upend unjust social structures. Mahatma Gandhi was incensed with the state of his Indian nation, where his countrymen were made to feel inferior under British rule. Some years later, Nelson Mandela felt the same way when […]

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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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Talk with us, not about us

Bored? William Wilberforce, the British slave trade abolitionist, once said, “It is inconceivable that we could be bored in a world with so much wrong to tackle, so much ignorance to reach and so much misery we could alleviate.” I’m certainly not bored. I only wish I were younger so that I would have more […]

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Reducing the feeling of shame

EXCERPT FROM A FIRM PLACE TO STAND (PAGE 198) – MARJA BERGEN (2008) In the introduction to his book, No Man is an island, Thomas Merton said that loving ourselves properly is “desiring to live, accepting life as a great gift and a great good, not because of what it gives us, but because of […]

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Carving a role in the church for mental health care – God at work

“I WAS DETERMINED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE” Excerpt from A Firm Place to Stand, Marja Bergen, 2008   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 […]

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Despised and rejected

  He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Isaiah 53:3   Good Friday is a time when we remember how Christ suffered and died for us. I hope this […]

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Give us a voice of our own

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice. Proverbs 31:8-9 NLT “Speaking for the poor and helpless.” Is this what God really means? I think we need to be careful and think about that […]

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From victim to victor

September 2016  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (NASB) Romans 8:28   Everyone experiences mistreatment in life. I’m sure you must have had that happen, whether as a child or later in life. For […]

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The voices of today’s outcasts

More than anything, people with mental health challenges need to have support from those who will listen to them and learn what their life is like. This is especially true for those living with borderline personality disorder (BPD). As a mental illness it’s probably the most stigmatized of all, causing 10% to die by suicide. […]

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Mental illness and justice

Having a mental illness doesn’t mean that a person has any less ability to reason than the next person. It doesn’t mean they’re any less able to know when wrong is done. It doesn’t mean they cannot feel the pain when they are being mistreated. And it doesn’t mean that the truth about that mistreatment […]

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