I’ve been on a search for a great book that addresses not only Christian faith, but how it intersects with mental health. We know there is way too much stigma within the church on mental health. Some books have been advertised as addressing this, but it missed the mark. Troubled Minds is by far the best book I have come across so far that fully and fairly addresses the issue of mental health in the church.
This award-winning book is written by Amy Simpson. She is currently an author, speaker, and personal coach who was the senior editor of Leadership Journal as well as a daughter of her mother who struggles with schizophrenia and was the inspiration of this book.
This book is NOT a practical guide on how to impliment a mental health ministry at your church. I have a book I’m reviewing later called Mental Health And The Church by Dr. Grcevich that fits this need perfectly.
Instead, this book is more of a wake up call, gut-check to the stomach type of book. The article can be a bit bleak at times, but sometimes we need to recognize the reality of the situation. I think there is more hope that can be told, it just wasn’t the purpose of this book.
Amy further shares some research she did in this book that is now much more widely seen in online journals that I have referenced on this site. I’ll let you read the book for the details of these stats.
Who Should Read This Book?
Normally, I’d think a book is good for pastors or just for counselors, depending on if it is very clinical or theological in nature. Troubled Minds actually does a fair amount of balancing things out. At one point, Amy does address not having a theology degree and does not get into the deep depths of Scripture, but is far from lacking any spiritual teeth.
Pastors, read this book. It will give you deep insight and empathy into understanding mental health, two things that I feel are severely lacking within the Church today towards people with mental illness.
Counselors, read this book. If you are wanting to fight for the hearts of your clients, to see them grow deep into who they are, find stability, and flourish, faith should be a serious component of your treatment. This book will give you ideas on how to incorporate it.
People with mental illness, you need to read it too. In all reality, the ones who will benefit from this the most is people who mental illness. I want to encourage you to advocate for yourself within the Church. When you get a couple of people to champion the cause for you, let them lead. But you may need to be the one who fights the hardest for a ministry until such a champion is found. If your mental illness symptoms are too strong, request your counselor to read this book and have them join you in finding a church champion to support you.
Overall, this is by far the best book to I have found to help fight the stigma on mental health within the Christian faith. I strongly endorse it and encourage you to read it too. I give this a solid 5 out of 5 stars.
What are your impressions of this book, or if you haven’t read it, what would you hope this book answers?
What a timely article to read. I struggle with clinical depression+ and haven’t been able to attend church for 3 yrs.
I love my church and our pastor (I’ve been a member there over 20 yrs.), yet no one from church has called or come by to see why I’ve been gone. I don’t know if I’m wrong to wonder about that, but I do.
I spoke with my pastor when I first stopped going to church, & he listened and suggested we could schedule a meeting. But I couldn’t motivate myself to go to church on Sundays to worship the Lord I love, never mind try and meet with my pastor *sigh*
I know that my pastor is concerned enough about mental health & the church from past guest speakers (a mood disorder doctor was one), & interviews at church with some church members’ about their struggle with mental health issues. However, I think there are so many things & people a pastor is responsible for that something like the book you reference would be an added help for my church, all churches, to perhaps glean how better to approach mental health as Christians.