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Mental Health Matters, reviewed by Joy Allan

Butch and Pam Frey, “Mental Health Matters: It’s not too late for the Church to be an agent of healing for those facing mental illnessVital (April 6, 2015).

This is a good article. Reading it made me feel as though someone is finally saying in public what I have heard said in private far too many times over the course of my research. Shame and false guilt lead many of us to stay silent about the mental health issues which affect 1 in 4 Americans/Brits.

This article states it clearly, ‘One might assume that the Church would be at the forefront of providing resources and actively engaging those who are battling depression, anxiety and a host of mental illnesses-but this is generally not the case.’ The call to listen, help and walk with others is clear. The call to remember that, ‘given the right set of circumstances everyone is vulnerable to mental illness’ may be controversial in many of our churches, but it is a call which we are required to listen to. This is as much for the sake of those of us who are well as those of us who are not. Pam and Butch Frey’s great experience in pastoral care shines through in their clear articulation of a fundamental issue.  This is an article worth reading.

Reviewed by Deborah Joy Allan


Editor’s note: For more on Joy’s research project investigating Pentecostal/charismatics and depression, look at her blog:

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Category: Ministry, Spring 2015

About the Author: Joy Allan, Ph.D. (University of Aberdeen), is Lecturer in Practical Theology at Belfast Bible College. She has served in pastoral care, social care, mental health care, and education for various schools and churches. Her research interests focus around mental health, disability theology, theology and abuse, and all aspects of pastoral care.

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