Understanding mental illness and how to help a loved one experiencing it is a difficult challenge for friends and family… and clergy. In times of struggle and crisis, many families turn to their pastors, rabbis and priests for support; however, not all clergy are trained in the effective ways they can support their parishioners. Just as stigma has prevented conversations about mental illness in secular settings, it has also limited conversations in sacred spaces, too.
Dr. David Rabiner, an expert on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), defines the condition as "a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity that occurs in academic, occupational, or social settings." In other words, children with ADHD may have difficulty with staying focused, keeping still, and taking turns
As the police car pulled out of the elementary school parking lot, my 11-year-old son handcuffed and sobbing inside, I turned to the principal. Tears coursing down my own cheeks, I asked, “How did this happen? What can we do to help Eric?”