In any given year, 1 in 5 people will struggle with a mental health issue. If we said 1 in 5 people will have a compromise in physical health, we would start a prayer chain. But mention that the compromise is a mental health issue, and most people scatter, label, judge, and disappear.
We tend to hide or deny what we cannot control or fix because most of the Western world clings to a dissected view of humanity; we partition our existence into labeled segments. We define one human life as sections of the whole . . . physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, and so on, which dismisses a whole person. Labels are terribly confining and damaging; candidly, it is a self-righteous choice to judge or label any part or the whole person altogether.
With mental health issues on the rise, Dr. Stanford offers wisdom, knowledge, guidance, and practical tools the church desperately needs in caring for one another.
Watch the Interview
- What contributes to the low number of people seeking treatment for mental health issues?
- Why is there a sharp separation in how society perceives mental illness compared to physical illness?
- How can the church be part of the mental health solution to the mental health crisis?
- Educate us on how we separate mental illness from the activities of Satan.
- How are mental and physical issues part of the brokenness of this world?
- What can we do to help relieve someone’s suffering?
- What can the church learn from past mistakes?
- As a Christian, why is sharing someone else’s suffering important?
- What advice can you give pastors to help them guide a congregation regarding mental illness?
- Talk to us about God’s sovereignty.
- Can you talk to us about the Hope and Healing Center?
Let Me Hear from You
Dr. Stanford offers cutting edge information, tools, resources, and a variety of supports and services, which leave the church with no excuse in caring for those in need. Let’s break the awful stigma associated with mental health. God created us to be in relationship with Him and one another regardless of one’s abilities or challenges.
Most of us want to care but don’t know how; this interview focuses on “how” to connect with others in a way that brings healing. From here, how can you be an agent of change today? What are a few ways you can begin to connect with others? If you are suffering, what do you need from those around you? What makes you feel welcomed and supported?
Let’s remember, Christ called us to unity, peace, love, kindness, and humility—to be present with others. Why not identify one or two key points that challenged you to think out of the box, and let’s connect on these in the days ahead.
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About Dr. Matthew Stanford
Matthew S. Stanford, Ph.D. is CEO of the Hope and Healing Center and Institute (HHCI) in Houston, Texas, and adjunct professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine and the Department of Psychology at the University of Houston. National publications such as the New York Times, USA Today, and U.S. News & World Report, as well as Web sites such as Fox, MSNBC, and Yahoo!, have featured Dr. Stanford’s research on the interplay between psychology and issues of faith.
Dr. Stanford is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. As director of HHCI, he writes, conducts training seminars, and serves individuals living with mental illness and their families. He is the author of two books, Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness and The Biology of Sin: Grace, Hope, and Healing for Those Who Feel Trapped.
In addition, Dr. Stanford serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Family and Community Ministries and Behavioral Sciences and the Law. He is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Mental Health Advisory Group and the American Bible Society’s Trauma Healing Institute Advisory Council.
Matt and his wife, Julie, are the parents of four children and reside in Houston, Texas.
Dr. Matthew Stanford Resources
You can find resources and information at the Hope and Healing Center and Institute.
Insight for Living Ministries Resources
Insights by Topic:
Videos and Podcasts:
- Joe Padilla: Those with Mental Illness Now Have Hope and a Plan
- Kay Warren: Mental Health in the Church Today