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Celebrate Recovery

Mental Health and Mental Help!

By Ken Haffner, SC Regional Director

In 1 Thessalonians, Paul describes many of the worldly conditions that affect believers and those who have not come to know Christ. Mental health is an area that can affect both groups equally. There are some simple things we can do to encourage people who are struggling. While we can’t fix people or force them to get help, we can come alongside them in their struggle. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Paul tells us to “encourage one another and build each other up.”

Serving someone in the middle of a mental health challenge can make you feel very powerless. But loving them like Christ loves us can demonstrate his power. Spending time with the person who is hurting is a good place to begin. Christ wanted to help the people who were hurting. He listened to them and spoke truth without judgment. He asked them questions. And while Christ knew the answers before he asked the questions, we can pause, think, pray and seek discernment before we speak– if we need to even speak at all.

Another thing we can do is simply imagine what it’s like being in the other person’s shoes. This is an empathetic mindset and can help build trust where there is doubt. While working with someone who is struggling with any issue, we can speak in terms of “us.” When Christ spoke about his church, he described a body, not a building. We are part of that body and he works through the body of his church. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says, “two are better that one” and they are rewarded in their labor. And Christ told us the best reason to come alongside one another: “where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20 NIV).

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