Many people are struggling with mental-health conditions, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and life in our image-conscious culture. Statistics tell us that, worldwide, one in six of us will have experienced a mental-health struggle in the past week, and serious depression is the second-leading cause of disability (Mental Health Foundation). That means there are brothers and sisters in our church families battling with thoughts, feelings, impulses and even voices that distract, drag down and nudge them towards despair. But when it comes to helping, it can be tricky to know where to begin, especially if we have very little knowledge of mental illnesses and are afraid of making things worse by saying and doing the wrong things.
This wise, compassionate and practical book is written by Steve Midgley, who worked in psychiatry and then as a pastor and is now Executive Director of Biblical Counselling UK, and Helen Thorne, Director of Training and Resources at Biblical Counselling UK. It will help readers understand and respond with biblical wisdom to people who are struggling with their mental health.
While acknowledging the importance of liaising responsibly with medics and counsellors, this book focuses on equipping readers to play their part in making churches places where those who struggle with mental-health conditions are welcomed, understood, nurtured and supported: a foretaste of the new creation. This is a useful book for anyone who cares for others pastorally: pastors, elders, small-group leaders and congregation members.