As long as humans have existed, there has been mental illness. By some estimates, as many as 20% of all adults live with a mental health issue. In biblical times, mental illness was often misunderstood and thought to be caused by demonic possession. In modern times, we have learned much more about brain chemistry. Although the stigma around mental illnesses has decreased, we still have a long way to go, and our faith communities can help. Looking particularly at biblical people and passages that relate to living with mental illness, the May 2024 devotional reminds us of Jesus’ compassionate care for those who struggle. Together, we’ll learn how congregations can become “stigma-free” zones, welcome and support those with mental health issues and their loved ones and provide opportunities for all ages to learn more about a topic that affects us all.

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