Some studies indicate that one in five people live with schizophrenia, clinical depression, bipolar disorder, or other mental illness. In a congregation of 250, that would be 50 people.
Although May as Mental Health Awareness Month is now over, the impact of mental illness on life and ministry continues, so today I’m sharing another mental health story on video followed by an interview. Is it possible to survive and thrive after burnout? How do you have a panic attack and still keep your job?
In this video, Amelia Kent shares her personal journey with mental illness, and graciously agreed to talk with me further about mental health on the job. An edited version of our conversation follows the video.
Two weeks ago I published Healthy Ministry and the Pastor with Mental Illness, which included an excerpt from Delight in Disorder and an interview with author Tony Roberts on his experience as a pastor living with bipolar disorder. In the next few weeks, I plan to share two more interviews on mental health in the workplace, and today I’m highlighting a handbook that helps to educate people on preventing suicide.
When Tony Roberts first published Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission, I was immediately intrigued by the title and subtitle. In the context of church life, I understood ministry and mission. I even understood mental health and mental illness–but madness? Sandwiched between ministry and mission, the frank term made me want to learn more.