Mental illness is often misunderstood; Christians with mental illness even more so. Various myths and erroneous mindsets often hinder the Gospel Community from being effective in supporting those with mental illness.
This book speaks to and sheds light on mental illness in three ways. Following a theological overview from Leow Wen Pin, it first presents stories from Christians who have mental illness. Their honest accounts provide a glimpse into the realities of their suffering, the words that have helped them (and the ones that haven’t), and the glimmer of hope that they find in Christ.
Second, it offers testimonies from those who are caregivers of loved ones with mental illness. Their words give insight into the realities of their journey, the real questions they have for God, and, mostly, the heart that they have for those they are caring for.
Third, it provides perspectives from pastors who have either struggled with mental illness or who are actively providing life-giving communities in their churches for those who do. Their practical and loving advice offers stepping stones that can guide the Gospel community into becoming a safe place for those with mental illness.
This nuanced book is a necessary read for anyone who wants to catch God’s heart for the mentally ill.
Changing our Minds: A Theological Introduction to Mental Illness
Section I – When the Darkness Descends
1. Breaking Black
2. Hope is Finding Beauty in Ashes
3. Not “Taboo®”
4. Chasing Angels, Chasing Eternity
5. Walking in the Path of Life
6. Finding God in the Dark
7. When Depression Drove Me Away from God
8. Hope for the Anxious Mind
Lessons from the Brink—Reflection
Section II – Walking with the Wounded
9. How God Saved My Schizophrenic Mother (and Me)
10. When I Realised He Had Anxiety
12. Helplessness of the Helper
13. He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother
14. When A Hurting Person is Hurt by the Church
15. A Journey of Finding More Questions than Answers
16. We Will Arise and Shine
17. Perspectives from a Wife
Sharing the Journey—Reflection
Section III – Walking Towards the Light
18. Soul Care as Spiritual Practice
19. A Pastor’s Confession: Press the “Pause” Button
20. My Ten Black Years
21. Discernment to Heal
The Discernment Shepherds Need—Reflection
Journeying with the Mentally Ill: A Christian Perspective
“Be warned that you will be hearing voices in this book. Voices of those who battle with anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and suicidal tendencies; voices of those whose loved ones are struggling with mental illnesses; voices of caregivers who fell into guilt and despair; voices of ministers who fought with depression; voices of those who care to speak up for the strugglers. Most importantly, it contains a prophetic voice calling the Church to repent from her lack of knowledge, and to become a safe community for the mentally broken to experience healing and wholeness in Christ.”
— Mr Rick Toh, Lead Pastor, Yio Chu Kang Chapel
“I used to be the kind of Christian who would say: ‘just deal with it’. Thankfully it was God who dealt with me—and saved me from such naive thoughts and arrogant attitudes. Journeying with a number of close friends who suffered from depression, anxiety and other deep wounds has made me appreciate how broken this fallen world really is … and allowed me to see the long-suffering shape of our Father’s love. I pray that this book will do the same for all of us in the body of Christ.”
— Rev Dr Dev Menon, Pastor, Zion Bishan Bible-Presbyterian Church