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Monthly Archives: May 2012
This summer, I’m going to ask…and offer my best answers for some difficult questions about disability ministry, and inviting some colleagues with differing opinions the opportunity to respond. Continue reading
We’re pleased to share that our friends and colleagues Cindi and Joe Ferrini will be featured this coming Thursday (May 31) and Friday (June 1) as guests of Jim Daly and John Fuller on the Focus on the Family radio broadcast. Cindi and Joe will be speaking on the topic Unexpected Journey-When Special Needs Change Our Course. Continue reading
The Luau was a triple win. It was a win for the Kingdom because many adults who don’t otherwise experience much recognition had an opportunity to experience the love of Christ through a party thrown in their honor at a local church. It was a win because lots of kids and adults had the opportunity to use their gifts and talents in serving others. It was also a win because the Luau led at least one family to reconsider attending church because of the experience their son had at the Luau. Continue reading
Yet I’m powerless to effectively communicate the burden I’ve been given because it’s absolutely essential for the world (and the Church) to know if this movement happens and the walls come crashing down that keep families who struggle with mental illness and developmental disabilities from connecting with the church that the work was unmistakably of God’s doing, and not that of a bunch of gifted people. Continue reading
Effective treatment of your child’s mental health condition can often reduce or remove significant barriers to spiritual growth. Unfortunately, parents may find it far easier to find someone to fix their kid than finding someone to fix the attitudes demonstrated toward persons experiencing mental illness at their church. Continue reading
What are some of the signs parents should look for when they’re concerned that they’re not in the right place for their child with a mental health disorder? Continue reading
Parents of kids with significant mental health disorders frequently experience great frustration in negotiating the confusing maze that constitutes our system of mental health care in many communities across the U.S., along with the yet more confusing (intentionally?) system of paying for needed care. Quite frequently, pastors and ministry leaders are trusted resources to parents of children or teens in crisis, and my own professional society encourages parents who are looking for help for their kids to seek recommendations from their spiritual leaders. This post seeks to help ministry leaders better appreciate common challenges families face in finding the proper help for their kids, and offer some resources to share with parents looking for help.
Among the classes of medication commonly used for kids and teens with mental health disorders, I’m most concerned about the potential long-term safety risks associated with the use of antipsychotics.
The pressures that kids are under in our community are incredible and unlike anything that my wife and I ever encountered growing up. It seems as if every thought, behavior and idea they encounter in school, online and with friends is at work to undermine the values we’ve sought to impart to them. I showed up for our ministry team on Wednesday in a sleep-deprived state after contemplating for much of the night whether we’d done enough to prepare them to make the right choices in the months and years ahead. As our girls have gotten older and become more private about some of the issues they deal with on a daily basis, I worry that I don’t have the relationship with them necessary to be a positive influence when they need to make difficult decisions. I also worry I haven’t done enough to promote relationships between them and other like-minded adults who can provide wisdom and reinforce our values when stuff comes up that they’re not comfortable discussing with my wife or myself. I do know that being a part of a church has helped my wife and myself to be a far more positive influence to our kids than we could have been without that experience.
As a child and adolescent psychiatrist, I frequently encounter parents and skeptics who freely share their opinions that much of the reported crisis in children’s mental health is fabricated…a marketing scheme of the pharmaceutical industry, a consequence of poor parenting or misplaced priorities on the part of families.