Many negative references remain in our common discourse about race, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, religious practice, and a host of other categories of human experience. The difference is, when used in public forums, the transgressor will be fired or politically maligned or cancelled or publicly shamed for using them. In contrast, commentators, politicians, preachers, and celebrities of all kinds can pepper their conversation with pejorative references to those who live with mental illness without consequence.
With more resources than ever for communication and connection, we have an epidemic of loneliness. Why?
Perhaps part of the reason for the phenomenon of loneliness in our culture is that we do not entirely understand one another in our differences, and so what can be lonely for one may feel completely replete with connection for another.
Falling—experiencing failure, grief, loss, and despair—is a fact of life for us, as it was for Jesus’ early followers. However, hope inculcates the ability to get back up, again and again. And where there is hope there is resilience. In this way faith, resilience, mental health, and the post-resurrection experience are inextricably connected.
Connected people live longer, happier, healthier lives. Connected societies do too.
One in five Americans live with some form of mental illness. Additionally, 5.5% of Americans suffer with a serious mental health disorder. There is an epidemic in our midst without an easy cure (if one exists).
In the debate about gun violence, let’s stop scapegoating mental illness and do the hard work of coming together to improve gun safety and public health.