The Authenticity of Grief

Mental health & loss in the Church

About

Mental health issues are rife in our current age. People of all ages around the world suffer with a range of issues on a daily basis including anxiety, depression, debilitating stress, and a host of other clinically serious issues.

I have suffered with anxiety since I was a child – panic attacks became normative for me in my mid-twenties after I faced a host of changes and stresses which climaxed in debilitating anxiety. This reality is quite normative throughout my family, suggesting that anxiety, depression and related health issues are complex issues catalysed by both nature and nurture.

My mother experienced anxiety for much of her adult life, though she always believed that God would help her through, because of her Christian faith. Her hope was in the provisions of the gospel found in the Bible. However, her case (and certainly hers is not an isolated one) proved that the understanding and knowledge of mental health issues in the Church is severely lacking. Despite the support offered by her church and family, she committed suicide in early April 2019. Her death is the inspiration for this blog.

An article in a well-known Christian magazine last April complained about the egregious chasm present between mental illness and its awareness and provision within the Church. While many laypeople and ministers reported personal experience with those suffering with mental illness, general awareness amongst the congregation, teaching on the subject, and support was reported to be scarce.

The purpose of this blog is an effort to remedy this situation by providing awareness and, hopefully, useful instruction for both leadership and laypeople in the Church.

If you are in Church leadership, a layperson, and/or struggling with mental health issues yourself – I hope this blog will be helpful. If you have stories of your own to share, please do contact me from the menu above – we would love to publish your own experience, for the benefit and edification of others.

If you’d like to contact me, please feel to do so via the link above, or by emailing me directly: angela@westminsterbaptistchurch.co.uk

With love and grace,

Angela Platt

Bridget Platt and Angela Platt at her wedding to Jonathan Arnold (2012)
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