Living with Mental Illness and Thriving

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

Not here. Here we offer resources for mental health steeped in love and grounded in faith. Here you are among friends, welcome just as you are. 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 ongoing images posted 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 47 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.


Logo Bullet Almost 47 million adults experience mental illness in a given year.

Logo Bullet Mental Illness impacts 1 in 5 adults. More than 11 million adults in the US experienced serious mental illness (SMI) in 2017.

Logo Bullet Nearly 1 in 25 adults live with a serious mental illness.

Logo Bullet 60% of those living with serious mental illness do not receive treatment.  

Logo Bullet Almost 50% of teens in the US have a mental disorder.

Logo Bullet Mental illness globally impacts 16 % of adolescents aged 10-19 years.

Logo Bullet 1 in 6 U.S. children aged 2-8 years (17.4%) are diagnosed with a mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder.

Logo Bullet Approximately 33% of people with chronic illness experience symptoms of depression.

Logo Bullet Globally, depression is one of the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents.

Logo Bullet Suicide is the third leading cause of death of young people aged 15–19 years.

Logo Bullet 50% of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14 and 75% by age 24.

Logo Bullet Almost half of adolescents with mental health issues do not receive any mental health services.

Logo Bullet 70% of youth in state and local juvenile justice systems have a mental illness.

Click here for detailed statistics.

Prayer for Mental Illness

Mental illness is hard. Often finding and/or being a part of a community when mental illness – anxiety, depression, PTSD – is a constant companion can be even more challenging.
You’re invited to the Chronic Joy Prayer Pond, a community rippling with radical hope and compassionate change. A place where you can share your prayer requests, updates, and shouts of praise. Whether a request, praise, lament, suffering, loss, hope, grief, or joy, each prayer ripples far beyond this day and the boundaries of our world.
How often we hear, “Prayer is the least I can do,” when in reality, prayer is the most we can do. 

Featured Books

Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church's Mission

Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission

Amy Simpson

Mental illness is the sort of thing we don't like to talk about. It doesn't reduce nicely to simple solutions and happy outcomes. So instead, too often we reduce people who are mentally ill to caricatures and ghosts, and simply pretend they don't exist. They do exist...


Bright Days Dark Nights With Charles Spurgeon: In Triumph Over Emotional Pain

Elizabeth Ruth Skoglund

Millions read the words of the great nineteenth-century preacher Charles Spurgeon without knowing that his ministry succeeded during seasons of overwhelming emotional pain and deep depression this great man of God encountered. Spurgeon confronted emotional problems with an acceptance based on physical, emotional, and spiritual causes and cures.


Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises

Michelle Bengtson

Ours is an age of anxiety. We worry about our children, jobs, homes, health, and finances. News and social media feed our fears. Even the fear of missing out leads to anxiety. The solution isn't to rid ourselves of the sources of anxiety but to recognize that anxiety originates from a spiritual influence--and then use the weapons of power, love, and a sound mind to fight back and live in God's peace.


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

Anxious • Days on the Edge • Poetry Prompt

These Are Days on the Edge. We have lived through months of isolation, fear, and pain multiplied by loneliness, political unrest, senseless murder, and racism slicing through lives and opening old scars. As morning stiffness leaves me aching, I struggle to search for joy. Will the pain worsen?...

Let yourself be surprised by the sudden peace that comes as you name your fears. ~ Karin Fendick

Vulnerable. What Is It You’re Frightened Of?

What is it you’re frightened of?asks my warrior side.What fills your heart with such dread?What happened to your coat of bravery you wore so confidently?I feel like a deer sometimes, I answer.I’m not always like you.I want to lie down in flower-kissed pasture,let my eyes close against the sun.I...

vulnerability and chronic illness

Waves of Grief in Chronic Illness

Grief Doesn’t Just Come When People Die   Yesterday was a hard day – a day when pain and nausea nagged and taunted me the whole day, a day when grief in waves washed over me, reminders of loss, of restriction, of the shackles of chronic illness.   Grief doesn’t just come when people...

waves of grief

Even More


  • 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


  • 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.



Sacred Sorrow, by Pastor Lawrence Bowlin


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




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.

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