On Tuesday, we introduced you to Dr. Matthew Stanford from Baylor University. Dr. Stanford discussed his research on the relationship between mental illness and faith practice in Part One of our interview. Today, he talks about Mental Health Grace Alliance (a new non-profit organization he founded) and two books he’s authored, The Biology of Sin and Grace for the Afflicted.
SG: You’ve been involved in the development of a new non-profit organization, Mental Health Grace Alliance. Can you share with our readers the mission and vision of Mental Health Grace Alliance, and some of the services and resources your organization provides?
MS: Mental Health Grace Alliance is a faith-based, non-profit organization created to promote understanding in the church and provide assistance and support to individuals living with mental illness and their families. We assist individuals and families affected by mental illness through Christ-centered counseling and support. We use a comprehensive (holistic) approach to equip individuals and families with biblical and clinical understanding and practical tools to navigate the health care system and daily life. We facilitate Christ-centered support groups, called Grace Groups, for both those living with a mental illness and their loved ones (presently in CA, FL, MA, TN, TX). We also provide training seminars and resources for churches and faith-based organizations to help leaders and professionals understand the balance between the clinical and spiritual aspects of mental illness and recovery. You can learn more at http://www.mentalhealthgracealliance.org.
SG: In addition to your work at Baylor and through Mental Health Grace Alliance, you’ve also published two books…The Biology of Sin (available as a Kindle e-book) as well as Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness (also available as an e-book). What are some of the key topics and questions you’ve addressed through your books?
MS: I think the key issue in all my writings is that the scientific or clinical aspects of mental health issues are not incompatible or inconsistent with a spiritual perspective. So when we are discussing medical or psychological treatments for Bipolar disorder we should also be discussing the spiritual impact on the individual and how we might effectively minister to them in their distress.
Dr. Stanford’s books, The Biology of Sin (available as a Kindle e-book) as well as Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness are available through clicking on the links above at Amazon.com.