Friday, October 10, 2014

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on Mental Health

Today and tomorrow I'm in Michigan attending the Breathe Christian Writers Conference. I look forward to this event every October and I learn so much as I sit in on different workshops, plenary sessions, and talk to lots of people who love to write as much as I do.

This is good for my mental health. I'm feeling so much better than I did just a few weeks ago. The medicine I'm taking is helping and I've also been talking to a counselor and I'm starting to get to the bottom of some of the stinking thinking that got me depressed recently. A friend recommended a great book called "Fresh Hope." I just got my copy, but it looks like a very helpful resource for people diagnosed with depression and other mood disorders. We don't have to live life constantly struggling. We can live well, with joy and hope. I'm glad I finally feel hope again and I've been feeling more joy, too.

Today is World Mental Health Day 2014. Saddleback Church hosted a 24 hour online event on mental illness. I know I'm writing at 10:30 p.m. so the event is almost over, but I hope the conversation continues even after this special day.

You can find resources and more information at

Before I close, I just want to share an important statistic about mental illness:

One in four adults−approximately 61.5 million Americans−experiences mental illness in a given
year. One in 17−about 13.6 million−live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder.

One in four adults. That means that many people you interact with at school, work, church, and in your community may be dealing with the symptoms of a mental illness. Pray for your friends and family members and be ready to offer help or take them to get help if they need it.

Most of all, if you find yourself losing hope and thinking about ending your life - get help! Talk to your spouse or someone you trust* and go to the emergency room if you need to. Life is worth living and you can get better. Never give up hope!

Admitting you need help does not make you a bad Christian or a weak person. Getting help takes courage and will bring you to a new place in your spiritual life so that you can live a fulfilling life as you follow the Lord.

Praying a little prayer for everyone suffering from a mental illness tonight. ~Robyn

*National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK

What are your thoughts about mental illness? Do you see it as a weakness or a sin? Can you see how focusing on God can give you the strength to get help and live a more fulfilling, healthy life? 

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