Mental health is one of the most challenging issues facing our culture today. One in five adults suffers from mental illness, yet only half who suffer will ever seek treatment. As a culture, and even in the church in general, we have placed a stigma on mental and emotional health. Too many people are afraid to speak up.
The stats are alarming. The average time lapse between initial symptoms of mental illness and treatment is 11 years! Suicide is currently the second leading cause of death among people ages 10-34 in the United States. The overall suicide rate has increased by 31% since 2001. The suicide rate among our veterans is twice as high as the general public. For every person suffering with their mental health, there are relationships that are affected. At least 8.4 million people in the US provide care for another adult with a mental or emotional health issue. These caregivers spend an average of 32 hours per week providing unpaid care.
So what are we, the church, supposed to do?
For the month of November, we are going to focus on the issues of mental health. We are going to shine the heart of God through topics that may be difficult to talk about. If you or someone you know suffers with mental or emotional health, we believe you will be encouraged through this series. There will be practical applications for you each week and connections to additional resources. We will also learn how we, as followers of Jesus, can care for our fellow brothers and sisters who are suffering in this area.