Too often, stigma, isolation, loneliness and shame follow a diagnosis of mental illness.

But not here. Here we offer resources steeped in love and grounded in faith. Here you are among friends, welcome just as you are.

Did you know?

Chronic Joy Ministry offers a awareness materials for mental illness, which highlight the significant impact of illness on every aspect of life -marriage, family, faith, finances, friendships, education, hobbies and work.

FREE printable Mental Illness Awareness Fact Sheets create awareness, grows knowledge and supports education in a quick and easy format with those in your sphere of influence – friends, family, churches, small group communities, co-workers and neighbors.

The DID YOU KNOW? Awareness Campaign features weekly images across our social media platforms – FacebookInstagramTwitterPinterest, and even Linkedin. LIKE or FOLLOW Chronic Joy to see us in your feed, then like and share the images to increase awareness.

Begin the conversation with the question, DID YOU KNOW?

And you will be changing the landscape for the almost 44 million people — 1 in 5 who live with mental illness, because the statistics show there are far more people than most realize.

Together, as we raise awareness, increase knowledge, and utilize educational materials tailored for all who are affected by chronic mental illness, we will also be shattering stigma and isolation, reminding each other and ourselves’s that while mental illness is hard, there is hope.

There is always hope.

DID YOU KNOW?

 

logo bulletMental Illness impacts 1 in 5 adults. Reportedly, 8 million adults will experience mental illness this year. [1]

logo bulletNearly 1 in 25 adults live with a serious mental illness. [2] 

logo bullet66% of those living with serious mental illness do not receive treatment. [2]

logo bullet50% of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14. [2]

logo bullet75% of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 24. [2]

logo bulletFor many, chronic physical and mental illness go hand-in-hand.

logo bullet20% of youth ages 13-18 live with a mental illness. [2]

logo bullet50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24. [2]

logo bullet70% of youth in state and local juvenile justice systems have a mental illness. [1]

 

[1] https://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml   (The National Institute of Mental Health)

[2] 2002 US Census Bureau

FEATURED BOOKS

Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression

Michelle Bengtson

Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion, blending her training and faith, to offer readers a hope grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is an approach that offers the hope of release, not just the management of symptoms.

A Heart Set Free: A Journey to Hope Through the Psalms of Lament

Christina Fox

How often do you look to God in His Word for help and hope? How often do you turn to Him when you feel anxious, distraught, or abandoned? How often do you bring your burdens to your Savior? Take a journey of hope through the Psalms of lament with Christina Fox.

Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission

Amy Simpson

In Troubled Minds, Amy Simpson, whose family knows the trauma and bewilderment of mental illness, reminds us that people with mental illness are our neighbors and our brothers and sisters in Christ, and she shows us the path to loving them well and becoming a church that loves God with whole hearts and whole souls, with the strength we have and with minds that are whole as well as minds that are troubled.

The Hidden Smile of God: The Fruit of Affliction in the Lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd

John Piper

John Piper invites you into the lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd to discover how God takes the privilege of faith and strengthens it with trials so that we experience a greater hunger for him. The perseverance of these godly servants exemplifies the essential fruit that affliction can produce in your own life.

BLOG POSTS

11 Ways We Can All Nurture Our Mental Health

Many of us are, frankly, obsessed with the health of our bodies—except when it comes to our brains. Most people don’t think much about the most complex organs in our bodies until we are forced to consider our mental health because something has gone wrong. And some of the things...

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We are richer because of gratitude.

The Gift of Pain

Pain swallows hope whole, quashinganticipation, motivation, and strengthas heartbeats tumble through our fingers in a tempest of raging shame. Withouthope, we wither, unmoored and disconnectedfrom the Body, depleted. Yet in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,and...

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Gift with Green Bow

She Descended into Hell

Early this summer, I forgot to take my antidepressants for three days in a row. Normally, a two-day memory lapse would throw me into the pit of deep darkness. This time was different. I thought maybe I had reached a point where God had answered my prayers—20 years of prayers—that I...

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Depression is an illness.

How Can You Tell When Someone Is Suicidal?

Depression that leads to suicide isn’t just the plight of the financially-strapped, unemployed provider of a household, or the teen who’s tormented by bullies, or the retiree who’s weary of declining energy and escalating physical pain. Just ask the friends of Kate Spade and Anthony...

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Hope in God, for I shall again praise him.

Mental Illness Stole My Father's Days

Fifteen years into fatherhood, mental illness burst into my son’s life and took up long-term residence.  So did chaos, friction, tears, lying, arguments, anger, and disrespect.  Then drugs. Then jail. Then death. As is often the case, guilt, self-doubt, and self-criticism also moved in, right...

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Mental Illness Stole My Father's Days

The Hidden Labor of Disability

Do your best to offer to help do some of that work if you can. The hidden labor is real and exhausting, despite being hidden. ... Understand if they cancel plans at the last minute. Empty their dishwasher or fold their laundry while they’re on the phone. READ MORE
Image of cacti with Colossians 3:12

EVEN MORE

SCRIPTURE (ESV)

  • Joshua 21:45Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.
  • 1 Samuel 12:16Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes.
  • 1 Samuel 12:23Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lordby ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.
  • Nehemiah 9:6You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.
  • Psalm 4:1Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
  • Psalm 4:8In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
  • Psalm 5:1-2; 11Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my groaning. Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray. But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.
  • Psalm 13:5, 6But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
  • Psalm 20:1-5May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you! May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion! May he remember all your offerings and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices!  May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans! May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!
  • Psalm 31:7I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul,
  • Psalm 34:8, 18-19Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
  • Psalm 62:8Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. 
  • Psalm 68:3-4But the righteous shall be glad; they shall exult before God; they shall be jubilant with joy! Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts; his name is the Lord; exult before him!
  • Psalm 68:28Summon your power, O God, the power, O God, by which you have worked for us.
  • Psalm 71:20You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again.
  • Psalm 94:19When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.
  • Psalm 116:10I believed, even when I spoke: “I am greatly afflicted”
  • Psalm 119:28My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word!
  • Psalm 138:8The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.
  • Psalm 143:8Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
  • Isaiah 30:18, 20-21Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
  • Isaiah 33:2O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble.
  • Isaiah 43:2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
  • Jeremiah 31:4, 13-14Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel! Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers. Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the Lord.
  • Jeremiah 31:25For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.
  • Jeremiah 32:27Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?
  • Habakkuk 3:18yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
  • Philippians 1:6And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
  • Psalm 62:8; Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah

WHAT TO SAY/WRITE/TEXT

  • Know that you are loved and prayed for today.
  • My heart aches with you and for you today.
  • I have experienced loss, and I am so sorry for what you are going through.
  • If you have a specific prayer request, I’d be honored to pray for you. But in the meantime, know that I’m praying for you and asking God how to pray for you best.
  • You are so loved! What specific thing can I do and/or provide that would help you right now? Let me know – and if you don’t have any ideas, I have suggestions.

Taken from Fight Back with Joy, Margaret Feinberg, pp. 180 – 182.

ARTICLES

SERMON

Sacred Sorrow, by Pastor Lawrence Bowlin

WEBSITE

Not Alone: Finding Faith and Friendship for the Special Needs Journey

MUSIC

  • The Valley, Ellie Holcomb
  • Indelible Grace: Joy Beyond the Sorrow
  • Praise You in This Storm, Casting Crowns
  • Our God, Chris Tomlin
  • Beautiful Things, Gungor
  • How Great is Our God, Chris Tomlin
  • Mighty to Save, Jeremy Camp
  • Come as You Are, Crowder
  • 10,000 Reasons, Rend Collective Experiment
  • Bring on the Wonder, Sarah McLachlan
  • Be Still, The Fray
  • Healing Begins, Tenth Avenue North
  • You Are More, Tenth Avenue North
  • My Help Comes from the Lord, The Museum
  • Lift Up Your Face, Third Day
  • Grace Like Rain, Todd Agnew
  • Good, Good Father, Chris Tomlin

EXERCISE:

AUDIO:

WHAT I’VE SEEN IN THE DARK: A Story of Depression and Faith

by Dr. Powell’s testimony at Columbia International University on September 22, 2014. Used with permission.