Wednesday, February 20, 2008
How Do I Help Someone That is Mentally Ill?
The magnitude of mental illness and emotional trauma in this country is staggering. According to the Surgeon General, one in every five Americans experiences a mental disorder in any given year and half of all Americans have such disorders at some time in their lives. These illnesses of the brain affect all of us, regardless of age, gender, economic status or ethnicity. Nearly every person sitting in the pews has been touched in some way by mental illness. And yet individuals and families continue to suffer in silence or stop coming to their faith community because they are not receiving the support they so desperately need. They become detached from their faith community and their spirituality, which is an important source of healing, wholeness and hope in times of personal darkness. THERE IS HOPE! As pastoral care givers we CAN make a difference if we remember a few things…
1. You can’t solve anyone’s problems, but you can listen and be present in the midst of their crisis.
2. Don’t preach! Don’t Judge! Don’t Attack! Remember Job’s friends? Do the opposite things they did to Job.
3. Prayer does work! Pray according to the needs of the person.
4. Help people come to the right conclusion on their own.
5. Sometimes all a person needs is your presence.