, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 13-22
Date: 13 Nov 2012

The Minister and Mental Illness

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Focusing on what I present to students on the first day of a seminary class on mental illness, this article cites six reasons why seminary students should learn about mental illness. In addition to noting that they are likely to have many experiences in their ministries of persons who are suffering from a mental illness, I also note the likelihood that some members of the class have experienced mental or emotional illnesses in their lives. These introductory comments emphasize the role that ministers may play in the prevention of mental illness and in supporting persons in the process of rehabilitation. The various roles that pastors may play in relation to mental illness are noted. Finally, I point out that, in the official roster of patron saints, mental illnesses are vastly underrepresented among the illnesses to which human beings are susceptible.