Breaking the church’s silence on mental health

Being a part of the mental health conversation

Over 43 million adults in the United States experience a mental illness in a given year, according to statistics from the National Alliance for Mental Health. Yet, we in the church are often silent on the topic of mental health for a variety of reasons.

One of which might be that we think of it as an “others” problem. Mental health issues affect others, not me, my family or my church family. However, statistics suggest something different.

How many people regularly attend your church? Take that number and divide it by five. Your answer is the number of individuals within your church who will likely experience a mental illness... [continue]

Hope for lives to be transformed

As Joe Padilla visits with pastors and church leaders about mental health recovery, he often finds hearts willing to help, but ill-equipped to do so. After walking through his own personal journey with his wife being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Padilla realized the church needed more training on mental health disorders in order to effectively minister to families. The Padillas were serving as international missionaries when she was diagnosed and they realized they could not function any longer and returned home to the states for treatment and support.

Unfortunately, returning home was not a relief, but actually increased... [continue]

Starting the conversation inside church walls

Imagine watching television when suddenly the following headline interrupts the program...

BREAKING NEWS: Shooter opens fire in elementary school. 

Like most people, Marcie Hatfield’s heart sinks when such news reports come on her television. 

“Who would do such a thing?” she asks herself, coming to the conclusion the suspect likely reacted out of rage stemmed by a mental issue such as schizophrenia or depression. 

Over the years, Hatfield has observed people struggling with mental illnesses. In one instance, a friend whose son committed suicide while suffering from Bipolar Disorder expressed how she felt the church was... [continue]

Why ministry leaders should consider an annual mental health check important

The issue of mental health is vital and close to my heart. The reality is, for five straight years I would get a call from a friend in different parts of the country with heartbreaking news of a close friend or associate who had taken their life in an apparent suicide. The pressure of ministry is real and sometimes, for many, overwhelming. Yet, in the church, we are just coming to grips with this illness and talking about it openly.

In the context of church life, in which I have served the majority of my ministry career, to state you had a mental struggle would be met with the following responses: you need to pray more, increase... [continue]

TX Baptists Magazine
Vol. 4 Issue 2

For more information about Counseling Services, visit or contact Katie Swafford at or (214) 887-5488.