There are few things in life more nerve-wracking than worrying about your child and her health. In most situations parents wrestle with dozens of questions and struggle to find the answers; this is particularly true when a child is experiencing mental illness.
Imagine waking up in the morning and sitting up in bed, and repeating that action 41 more times.Imagine turning your body to put your feet on the floor 42 times.
Topics: Mental Health Conditions
During the month of May – Mental Health Awareness Month – those in the know turn their manicures into Maynicures. What’s the difference? A Maynicure features four nails painted one color, and the fifth nail painted a contrasting color to represent the 1 in 5 children who experience mental illness. It’s a fun campaign that makes the One in Five Minds message come to life in a visible and unique way.
As someone who is concerned about children’s mental health, you know that good and timely information is critical for parents when it comes to their child’s future and safety.
Our faith leaders - pastors, priests and rabbis - are in a unique position to be the first line of defense when confronting mental illness. Speaking at the recent Pathways to Hope conference, Matthew S. Stanford, PhD and CEO, of Hope & Healing Center & Institute agreed, saying that people experiencing a mental health crisis are, “more likely to go to a clergy member before any other professional group.” Because of that, both Stanford and Austin Psychiatrist, Daniel Morehead MD, believe that religion and spirituality, can and should be part of a treatment plan (where appropriate) for those that struggle with mental health issues. What follows are some practical questions and responses about how that might work.
There are people in our lives and communities that we assume always have it together, all of the time. From the impeccable PTA volunteers at our children’s schools, to the whip-smart presidents of the companies where we work, to the wise leaders in our local faith communities – their lives often look so enviable and flawless on the outside. It’s hard to imagine that they struggle with some of the same issues our families do, especially when it comes to mental health. Over the summer, Pathways to Hope, a community collaborative conference, was held in San Antonio for mental health organizations, for those that are seeking help, and for faith leaders looking to bridge the gap between the two. Since one of conference’s aims was to help break the stigma associated with mental health issues, organizers invited Robert Emmitt, Pastor Emeritus of Community Bible Church and one of San Antonio’s most beloved faith leaders, to speak about his journey with clinical depression. He spoke about how at first, “I was ashamed to tell anyone about it. The last thing a preacher wants to get is clinical depression,” he says. “We’re not supposed to get there. We want to pray it out, sing it out, study it out, fast it out, worship it out, preach it out. Because if it happens to us, how on earth are we going to help anyone else that it’s happening to?” With the help of his loving spouse, an attentive doctor, prescription medicine, and his faith, he is now standing on the other side of the darkness and happily shares his journey. Pastor Emmitt continued, reassuring those in attendance, “Fourteen years ago I was diagnosed with severe clinical depression. And 14 years later, here I am standing in front of you with the brightest, happiest yellow shirt I can find in my closet to tell you there’s hope and there is light through it. There is life after whatever mental illness you’ve been diagnosed with.”