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Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church's Mission Paperback – April 3, 2013
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"Amy Simpson gives deep insight into the pain of mental illness for those affected and those who love them. I count this a must-read for those of us in church leadership." (Karen Miller, "The 2014 Leadership Book Awards," Leadership Journal, Winter 2014)
"In America, mental illness covers . . . a broad set of diagnoses. Simpson gives her readers a helpful, readable digest of mental illnesses. Well-researched and written in layman's terms without oversimplifying, she helps bring readers up to speed about the topic and the issues. . . . Her book is insightful, compassionate and timely. It is a must read for leaders of churches." (Michael R. Chancellor, The Baptist Standard, July 29, 2013)
"Troubled Minds offers a thorough and well-researched overview of the realities of mental illness. But Simpson does not resort to professional jargon. The book's real strength lies in Simpson's empathy for those she interviewed, and the compassionate retelling of their stories. Readers will be far better prepared to care for those in their midst who struggle with mental illness. Finally, the book offers hope, both for those who are suffering and for church leaders awakened by Simpson's prophetic call for change. . . . Troubled Minds should prove to be an excellent resource for pastors and lay leaders who minister to the mentally ill." (Michael Mangis, Christianity Today, June 2013)
"Having written about my own family's experience with mental illness, I know what it must have cost for Amy Simpson to root her highly informative book in her family's heartbreaking, yet hopeful story. Because of stigma and ignorance, far too many of us live with the pain of mental illness in silence and without compassionate support from our Christian communities. Troubled Minds has the potential to help free us from that quiet loneliness and bring our churches into fuller communion with those who suffer. I highly recommend it." (Christine A. Scheller, news and religion editor, UrbanFaith)
"Get ready! Amy Simpson takes you on a thoughtful, vulnerable and even painful journey through the complex landscape of mental illness. There is hope, but not until you go to the emotional and textured depths Troubled Minds provides." (John Ortberg, senior pastor, and Charley Scandlyn, healing minister, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church)
"Drawing on her own journey and extensive research, Amy Simpson gives deep insight into the pain of mental illness for those affected and those who love them. She makes puzzling concepts understandable, and she faces head-on the troubling questions raised by mental illness for people of faith. While I was reading the book, a homeless woman struggling with mental illness came to our church. Because of what I'd read, I interacted with her more patiently and effectively. I count this a must-read for pastors and church leaders." (Karen Miller, LCSW, executive pastor, Church of the Resurrection, Wheaton, Illinois)
"In Troubled Minds Amy Simpson opens the door into the hidden struggles of those caring for a mentally ill loved one. Between descriptions of her own real-life experiences she eloquently presents information that every Christian should have on how to recognize and appropriately respond to those living with mental illness. This book will prompt you (and your church) to action among a suffering people." (Matthew S. Stanford, professor of psychology and neuroscience, Baylor University, and author, Grace for the Afflicted)
"With no shortage of brains or heart, Amy Simpson courageously explores the realities of mental illness in the twenty-first century. With mental illness on the rise, all church leaders would do well to read this theologically and psychologically compelling volume." (Linda Lake, clinical psychologist)
"In more ways than one, [Simpson's] book shines a light in the darkness." (Jenny McDevitt, Interpretation, April 2016)
About the Author
- Item Weight : 9.3 ounces
- Paperback : 222 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0830843043
- ISBN-13 : 978-0830843046
- Dimensions : 5.58 x 0.63 x 8.23 inches
- Publisher : IVP Books; 4.5.2013 edition (April 3, 2013)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #119,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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During Amy Simpson’s youth, her mother developed schizophrenia. She knows firsthand the traumas and difficulties of families with mental illness. That’s why she writes with such passion and compassion for others who struggle with mental health problems. In particular, she points out the many ways the church has failed people with mental health issues.
In her book, Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church's Mission, Simpson addresses the practical and theological issues that feed misunderstanding about mental illness in church communities. But she doesn’t leave her message at “do better,” she goes on to share the success stories of churches who intentionally reach out to people through mental health ministries. She describes specific actions the church or individuals can take to help people who experience a mental health crisis. And she offers her vision for the future, in which the church becomes a safe place for broken people.
Troubled Minds should be mandatory reading for every seminary student and pastor. It is a much-needed book in today’s church. Amy Simpson offers the wisdom that comes from experience to shed light on the darkness within the church.
Troubled minds are not a THREAT to the church, they are a MISSION of the church. However, if you are suffering with a family member who is suffering with a thought disorder or a mood disorder, then you will soon exhaust all of your own resources, and you MUST turn to someone else for help, or just collapse into survival mode, and hope you can outlast the problem.
The solution is never easy.
However, all any of us can use is the resources to make it through the day. And that's something that our brothers and sisters CAN help us with.
The thing I loved the most was that Simpson left us with hope, and in a world that is so devoid of help for those struggling with mental illness, hope is so important. We, as a society need to put our fears away to reach out to those who suffer. Churches are an obvious means of support, yet many turn a blind eye because it's easier to blame the victim. Simpson challenges churches to step up and minister to the least of the least--those whose scars are not so visible, and those who don't fit comfortably in society's expectations or norms.
Another strength of the book is that she asks the hard questions about mental illness and sin. While she admits she can't answer every one of those questions completely, she provides some thoughtful insight to scripture and illness.
She has an index of additional reading material, resource organizations, films and churches who have implemented programs to reach out. so that the conversation may be started.