Thursday, January 18, 2018

Pastor Jay Forseth

Journeys in Faith

We need to talk about mental health

Most New Year’s resolutions are about the physical. Lose 15 pounds. Quit smoking. Exercise.
My first college professor in my first college class taught me that we are far more than just physical. We are also mental, emotional, social and spiritual. Then he said words that I will never forget –– “They are all connected.”
If one of the five is off, it affects the others. For instance, someone in chronic pain not only suffers physically but also mentally. A lonely person is not only affected socially but also emotionally. A stressed out parent can suffer both physically and spiritually. Why is it that we only focus on the physical?
We need to talk more — about mental health.
There, I said it. Just saying the word mental carries a stigma. Like we have to keep it a secret, hidden from others, kept in the dark. It is no wonder the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has an “Out Of The Darkness” walk.
Our community has been tragically affected by suicide, suicide attempts and suicide threats. It is time to get some things out into the light where it can be dealt with. No judging, no isolating, no games. We must get truths into the open if we are to confront mental health issues head on.
I understand the most prescribed medicine in America is anti-depressants. One out of four people in America suffer from mental illness, whether it be bi-polar, anxiety or something else.
For some, it is nothing more than a chemical imbalance. For others, it is complicated by abuse or trauma. If you suffer, you need to realize you are not alone!
So, for the next few months I would like to address the issue of mental health through this column. I do not have all the answers. God does. His Word helps. So do doctors and health care professionals. And don’t forget your Pastors. Mental is connected to spiritual, remember?
For now, please remember that what you think matters. Don’t park your thoughts in the negative. If you have any questions on how to think differently, start by reading Philippians 4:8.