In everyone’s lives, there are periods of sadness, discouragement, or difficulty in adjusting to new situations. It’s not unusual to experience these feelings, but they can become a concern if they are frequent or prolonged or if
they interfere in daily life.
This is reality but is shunned to discuss in the African American churches and it is done via embarrassment or the denial factor. Just to be frank, alot of people in the church are very much STRESSED and DEPRESSED and it goes either unrecognized or people turn the other cheek. No one wants to deal with it, no one wants to admit it, no one wants to put in the time for it but it is REAL and wont go away until you learn what it is and how to run it out of your life.
As leaders and fellow lay members, it is important to not only be able to RECOGNIZE issues but more importantly deal with them. If you are not skilled, dont be afraid to admit it but be wise and fair to yourself and the people that you are trying to help by pointing the >>>>> into the right direction!
If it is really about helping your brother or sister, you will not worry about getting any pats on the back or accolades… UNITY doesnt care who gets the recognition.
The African American church or should I say a very high percentage of the church handles matters that are “easy for them” to deal with and handle. Nonetheless, that is not what the church is mandated to be for. The church is what African Americans call a ” Spiritual Hospital ” where people come to get well, get check ups, operations etc. in the spiritual sense. However, some that come in to the Spiritual Hospital most times leave worse off than how they came in the door. So the church sometimes is viewed as a bootleg place of healing.
People have MAJOR problems and have a hard time seeking out help due to these situations that I have just explained and things in their lives continue to grow and fester for the worse. It is very unfortunate that certain matters get swept under the rug and people are walking in and out of the church MENTALLY confused or dead. If a person’s mind is not stable then how can ANYTHING else be?
Scripture tells us in James 1: 8 that a double – minded man is unstable in ALL that he does / all of his ways…. Which boils down to the lack of focus and if you cant focus than your outcomes will indeed be incomplete / go without finished.
Unfortunately, it is often too difficult for people to seek support for their concerns. As a friend or family member, how do you know when you should encourage someone to get professiona and spiritual counseling? How can you help someone in need? What types of things would you consider urgent?
First, you need to recognize the signs that indicate that someone needs help. Mental Health America has a short list of general symptoms that can apply to a number of mental health conditions. In adults, signs include:
- confused thinking
- prolonged depression (sadness or irritability)
- feelings of extreme highs and lows
- excessive fears, worries, and anxieties
- social withdrawal
- dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
- strong feelings of anger
- delusions or hallucinations
- growing inability to cope with daily problems and activities
- suicidal thoughts
- denial of obvious problems
- numerous unexplained physical ailments
- substance abuse
If a friend, family member, or fellow student is experiencing any of these symptoms and/or you have noticed changes in that person’s academic life, in behavior with others, and in daily habits, he or she may be experiencing something more than just stress. This person may benefit from talking to a health care professional about how they are feeling.
What can you do to help? If you have decided to approach a friend, family member, or fellow student about your concerns, here are some suggestions that might be useful. Talk to the individual in private when both of you have time and are not rushed.
- Express your concern in specific nonjudgmental terms that reflect your
concern for the well-being of the individual.
- Listen to this person’s thoughts and feelings in a sensitive, nonthreatening way.
- Let the friend, family member, or fellow student know that you believe a
consultation with a health care professional, like a staff member at CAPS, could be helpful.
- If he or she becomes defensive, simply restate your concerns and recommendations.
If you are approached by an individual seeking advice for problems he or she
is experiencing, you can be supportive in a number of ways.
- Offer emotional support through understanding, patience, and encouragement.
- Engage the person in conversation and listen carefully.
- Do not disparage feelings expressed, but point out realities and offer hope.
- If you think this person is likely to harm him/herself, don’t be scared to
call for medical attention. Sometimes the best way to be a friend is to get
help, now. You could be saving a life.
The most important thing anyone can do for a person suffering from a mental health problem is to help him or her get an appropriate diagnosis and treatment from a health care professional but indeed realize that it causes prayer to come forth!
Spiritually speaking >>>> I am not a big fan <<<<<<< on grabbibg a presciption to take away your issues because that is how people become addicts or at least one way it can occur. No one wants to ever talk and disclose what is really going on with them for a few reasons. There is no real value in keeping things private in today’s church.
Therefore, that has people walkign around almost like zombies and dressed up on the outside but messed up on the inside. The zombie / Charlie Sheen appraoch…. you are making people laugh and making slogans such as ” WINNING ” but inside and your actions on the outside surely shows the world that you are indeed ” LOSING “……
Read PSLAM 1 and you will see that talking and sharing with someone ( the right people ) not only helps but also makes sense!