Mental health is an issue everyone including the international community is beginning to speak more about. Several organizations, both governmental and non-governmental have been established with the singular purpose of dealing with mental health.
As you must have guessed, mental health is a very broad topic, quite as broad as talking about any aspect of the health of human beings. This topic expands include discussions like what helps to guarantee our mental health, what affects our mental health, how do we deal with people with mental health issues, how severe does it need to get before we begin to worry about mental health issues, among several other things. These discussions take place rapidly and frequently across several platforms all over the world, except in the Church.
The church has been very mute about the issue of mental health, and there are several reasons given by individuals for this conspicuous silence. One of the chief arguments is that the Church is meant singularly and solely for the teaching of the Gospel of Christ and nothing else, either career or health should be taught within the context of the church. Another position is that the healing power of God is able to deal with any mental issue when it arises and as such there really is no need to spend time discussing it. Some others simply feel that there are other platforms to discuss it and we don’t need to do so within the context of the church.
While all these arguments have their truths indeed, we feel that there ought to be a balance to this and we also submit that wisdom is profitable to direct. It would be quite insensitive, if a matter that so affects individuals like mental health, is completely ignored by the church, yet, we must remember and indeed emphasize that the gathering of believers is primarily and perhaps singularly for the perfecting of the saints and for the work of ministry. Ephesians 4. We also would not be out of place to believe God for healings of all forms, including mental health, this doesn’t, however, preclude us from learning what to do to prevent it in the first place.
How does the church speak about the issue of mental health
Mental health in the church should be addressed as an aside. This means that we can have a special day or special days where professionals are invited to come and discuss this issue and inform people on the matter. It should not be taught on a Sunday morning as the sermon for example, and we should not convert, the majority of our services to health talk, business talk, and career talk. However, the church understanding the need to inform people about these can organize special, irregular, meetings to discuss this and get individuals informed.
What should be said about mental health
Everything. All that there is to say about the issue should be mentioned, from its causes and effects to its prevention and cure. We must ensure that we don’t bring quacks to speak about it, but we must ensure that all men are completely aware of what exactly it entails. At the same time, we must be careful that we don’t speak in a way that will communicate fear to the hearts of God’s people. The Church of God is supposed to minister strength, hope, faith, love, and confidence, it was never designed to be a place that leaves individuals scared for their life or their futures.
Lastly, in talking about the issue of mental health, we must be careful to mention the healing and restorative power of God. We must ensure that all those battling with it and even those who are not, are fully aware and persuaded that even this is not outside of the scope of God’s power. This is a very important addition. This is in fact what will minister peace and hope to the hearts of men.
How does the church address mental health care?
If we suddenly find out that one of us has a mental health issue, advise such individual to seek help immediately.
Also, pray for such persons. James says that if any is sick among you, he should be prayed for and the prayer of faith will heal the sick. Mental sickness was not excluded from this list and so the first reaction of the body of Christ will be to pray and to pray in faith.
Also attached to prayer and medical help is the show of love. Now it is important to note that mental health issues are usually accompanied by stigmatization. It would be a terrible response if this is also found in the church.
Jesus stated that we should love one another and by this will men know that we are his disciples indeed. Love and care, being there for the person during the deeply emotional and sometimes, physical pain, is a way to deal with mental health issues.
Mental health is a major theme of discussion in today’s world and while we recognize the primary purpose of the church. We must remember that mental illness is a form of illness. Hence, such issues must be dealt with medically, within the confines of scriptural wisdom and with the help of the ever-present and ever-loving, holy spirit.