View Healing the Effects of Stigma by Marja Bergen
Healing the Effects of Stigma will help friends of those living with the effects of stigma learn how they can bring relief to the pain they live with.

What is the pain that people with mental health challenges live with? This is what they would tell us.

  • We are looked down on.
  • We are not understood.
  • Our truths are not believed.
  • We are shunned rejected, excluded.
  • We are made to feel ashamed.
  • Our abilities are often underrated.
  • Our opinions are not respected.
  • We are not taken seriously.

This pain does not come from our mental illness. There is no medication for it. It comes from what the world makes us feel about ourselves. It comes from stigma and should not be ignored, in the same way pain from other health conditions are not ignored.

If you were to live with all these negative attitudes towards you, how would you feel? This is important to understand. Because when you understand how stigmatized people feel, you’ll be in an excellent position to be able to be good support for them.

Having a mental health condition is not our fault. There is nothing we could have done to prevent it. We need the kind of acceptance that Jesus once showed to those the world rejected.

In the following pages I show what Christ followers can do to make their friends with mental health issues feel better about themselves and grow in confidence.

Although I separate each source of pain and how we can help, they don’t appear separately. In actual life, they are all there, with us at the same time. All the suggestions for spiritual support that I give in this booklet could be applied on an ongoing basis. Our needs are great and often felt daily.

Most of all, we need to show the love of Christ as he has shown himself to us.