Tomorrow is the beginning of National Mental Illness Awareness Week, Oct. 5th through 11th. In this piece from the Huffington Post Religion section, Sarah Griffith Lund defends and explains her use of the word ‘crazy’ in the title of her book, “Blessed Are The Crazy; breaking the silence about mental illness, family & church”. You can read it HERE.
While I haven’t had time to order and read it yet, I am very much looking forward to this book. Lund quotes the statistic that one in four Americans will have some sort of mental illness during their lives, church leaders included. So why aren’t we talking about it? For many families still, church is the greatest organizing community outside of the family itself. (Yes, the number is declining, but it is still a large number.) If an organization that claims to include everyone, especially when they are hurting, cannot talk about mental illness, they may be in the wrong business.
I anticipate this book may be helpful for other community organizations in their attempts to educate themselves and begin an open discussion about mental illness with their members. Goodness knows we need something to bolster along the process. There are too many people hurting in silence. That’s why there is a National Mental Illness Awareness Week and why I will be sharing some of my personal story with you, beginning tomorrow. I hope you find it informative and encouraging. If you are one of the people hurting alone, you don’t have to be.