Second article in a series of articles on what the SS. Isidore and Maria Parish Community can do to support those with mental health challenges and their families.
Those with serious mental illness and their families are doubly challenged. On one hand, they struggle with the symptoms and disabilities that result from the disease. On the other, they are challenged by the stereotypes and prejudice that result from misconceptions about mental illness. As a result of both, people with mental illness are often robbed of the opportunities that define a quality life: good jobs, safe housing, satisfactory health care, and affiliation with a diverse group of people.
Many people with mental illness are in recovery and lead productive lives; others struggle with symptoms of their illness. The discrimination associated with mental illness too often deters people from seeking professional help. Fear of negative judgement may also discourage people struggling with a mental illness from confiding in those closest to them who can provide compassionate support, including family, friends, co-workers and fellow parishioners. Sadly, some who do not seek help could wind up homeless or in jail due to the symptoms of their illness.
As a faith community, we can make a difference in people’s lives and in the lives of the families who support them by educating ourselves on the facts about mental illness, being accepting of a person’s illness, comforting them in time of crisis, supporting them in their ongoing need, and assisting them in their search for mental health services.
Learn more! Starting Mon., April 12, the SS. Isidore and Maria Parish Mental Health Ministry invites you to attend Mental Health Matters, a free, five-week virtual series about the overall importance of mental health, the impact of mental illness on individuals, families and communities, and the role of this new ministry in our community. Registration is required.