(May 1, 2007)

I very much look forward to this Sunday’s church service. In honor of Mental Health Week (May 7 – 13) our pastor will present a sermon with the title “Out of the Shadows.” He will talk about being a caring community for those who are dealing with mental health problems. Three members of our Living Room group will talk about their experience with depression and bipolar disorder.

I am grateful to have this pastor who has been enthusiastic to learn about mental health problems. He is eager to help in any way he can to provide a church that will give a Christ-like response to those dealing with such problems. Because of his encouragement and the encouragement of others in the church, Living Room started and has become a thriving support program, one that is now benefiting over 25 individuals. This support provided me with the courage to facilitate the group.

The love and support of this church community, as well as the inspiration provided by weekly sermons also encouraged me to write my book, A Firm Place to Stand.

What my pastor and my church, Brentwood Park Alliance Church, is doing to be supportive of people with mental health issues is an example of how well followers of Christ can be of help. Next to medication, there is nothing as important for a Christian who struggles with such problems. When I struggle with depression I know there are friends who will be there for me and pray for me. I know they won’t be judgmental or say that I’m not right with God. That is great comfort.