Wes was on track to become a lawyer, his dream. He had a large group of friends and his house was always open to those friends, any time day or night. Wes always appeared happy, confident, well-adjusted. He had even just adopted a dog! To an outsider, even to a friend, Wes’ life seemed to be going well. Then, to the surprise of even his closest friends, Wes ended his life.
Mental health affects everyone! To some, like Wes, there is an internal struggle, a struggle no one sees. To others, the struggle is more obvious, apparent by their anti-social behavior or erratic actions. Still to others, there is no struggle - their mental health is well! We all consider out physical health on a daily basis, going to the doctor when we do not feel well, or perhaps taking a day off work, just to be safe. Why do we not give our mental health the same consideration?
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7, ESV)
It is estimated that 1 in 4 people suffer from mental health problems, yet few will receive treatment. In our society, admitting you have a mental health problem has a negative social stigma attached, although this view is slowly changing. Would you fear to admit you have the flu? No! Of course not! Failing to receive treatment could cause harm to those around you. The same is true for your mental health. Failing to admit you need help could harm those around you! Perhaps not physically, but they could be harmed emotionally and mentally.
Someone who is suffering may scoff when reading the above Bible verse, or similar Bible verses. They may have tried praying, surrendering their problems to Christ, only to find that they are still suffering. Being a Christian does not guarantee that we have good mental health. Satan is going to use any way possible to drive us away from Christ. Christians struggle, even through prayer. There is nothing wrong with seeking out someone to talk to about what you are going through! God has given out a wide variety of gifts. Many people have the gift of being able to help others. Some refer to them as psychiatrists, others a mental heath professionals. There is nothing wrong with admitting you need help! It is something we do every time we come to Christ in prayer!
May is Mental Health Month. It is a month dedicated to raising awareness about mental health and working to change societies view on mental health and seeking treatment. Do your views need to change? Have you harmed someone because of your views? Do you need to seek help?