Today I began auditing a course on Mental Health and Religion. One of the texts that we will be reading as a class is Amy Simpson's Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church's Mission. I have read this book before, and I was pleased to see it on the class syllabus. It is a great resource for faith communities.
What is fascinating about the book is that Simpson conducted a survey in 2010 in the United States that invited church leaders who read both the Leadership Journal and Christianity Today to respond to a survey on mental health and their churches. The results are very eye-opening, and point to the need for more discussion about mental health in communities of faith.
When it comes to self-injury, it is important to be very sensitive and yet, I would like to suggest, bold about addressing this important topic. With recent studies showing that 1 in 4 young people who identify as female engaging in self-injurious behaviours in the United States*, this topic needs to be more "front of mind" for communities of faith.
*See: Monto, Martin A., Nick McRee, and Frank S. Deryck. “Nonsuicidal Self-Injury Among a Representative Sample of US Adolescents, 2015.” American Journal of Public Health 108, no. 8 (August 2018): 1042–48. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2018.304470.