You are invited to The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church, a one-day event designed to encourage individuals living with mental illness, educate family members, and equip church leaders to provide effective and compassionate care to any faced with the challenges of mental illness.
I found out about this event a couple of days ago and the thought of it both excites and scares me. It scares me because I have had very counterproductive conversations with people of faith over the years regarding the depression I have experienced throughout my life. Even people who have been healed of depression through their faith, perhaps even especialy them, have spoken to me in ways which were more hurtful than helpful, at least to the way my brain and perceptions were at the time. It excites me because it gives me hope that mental illnesses and disorders are being lifted up and examined within the context of faith and this is a huge opportunity for people of faith, professionals and laity alike, to educate themselves, examine how the way things have been done do more harm than good, and begin exploring new ways of relating and reaching out to people experiencing mental health issues.
This is a very important conversation. If you live in the Orange County, California area and can take Friday, March 28th off to spend the day attending this, low-cost event, please consider doing so. If you don’t have the $20, the website states scholarships are available. If you cannot physically attend, they will be live streaming the event. Even if you can only attend or view part of the event, I have a feeling it will be worth your time.
Find out more information at http://mentalhealthandthechurch.com/