Thursday, January 18, 2018

Pastor Jay Forseth

Journeys in Faith

Mental health first aid

I love the title of a brochure I saw recently.
It read, “Mental Health First Aid.” Noticing the signs of poor mental health are as possible as understanding when someone is having a stroke or heart attack. It’s a matter of focusing on the outward signals.
Most people do not know what we mean when we say the words “mental illness.” According to mentalhealthfirstaid.com it includes depression, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma (abuse), psychosis, and substance use disorders.
As you are trying to assess someone’s mental health you will quickly learn that you are in over your head. A wise idea is to learn how to REFER someone to help. I refer often to Stillwater Billings Clinic for anxiety or depression. I refer often to Columbus Mental Health Center for disorders of all kinds including anorexia/bulimia, obsessive/compulsive and bi-polar.
In situations of potential suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). In extreme addiction situations, call the Rimrock Foundation in Billings. A pastor can help when spiritual guidance is needed.
It is important to stress that after seeking help, one who suffers from mental illness must follow through on prescribed courses of action. If medicine is prescribed, one should not stop taking it unless they have talked to their health care professional!
This is a newspaper column on FAITH, so I would once again remind us that what we think matters for you and God. Scripture says to “renew your mind” as well as “think about what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.” Scripture also says to meditate (think) on what is in God’s Word, the Bible.
When we park our minds in places that are unhealthy, God gives us a better way out when we think of Him and His promises. Try it, it works! So does prayer!!