Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church's Mission

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Overview

The 2014 Christianity Today Book Award Winner (Her.meneutics)

Winner of a 2013 Leadership Journal Book Award ("Our Very Short List" in "The Leader's Outer Life" category)

Mental illness is the sort of thing we don't like to talk about. It doesn't reduce nicely to simple solutions and happy outcomes. So instead, too often we reduce people who are mentally ill to caricatures and ghosts, and simply pretend they don't exist. They do exist, ...

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Overview

The 2014 Christianity Today Book Award Winner (Her.meneutics)

Winner of a 2013 Leadership Journal Book Award ("Our Very Short List" in "The Leader's Outer Life" category)

Mental illness is the sort of thing we don't like to talk about. It doesn't reduce nicely to simple solutions and happy outcomes. So instead, too often we reduce people who are mentally ill to caricatures and ghosts, and simply pretend they don't exist. They do exist, however—statistics suggest that one in four people suffer from some kind of mental illness. And then there's their friends and family members, who bear their own scars and anxious thoughts, and who see no safe place to talk about the impact of mental illness on their lives and their loved ones. Many of these people are sitting in churches week after week, suffering in stigmatized silence.

In Troubled Minds Amy Simpson, whose family knows the trauma and bewilderment of mental illness, reminds us that people with mental illness are our neighbors and our brothers and sisters in Christ, and she shows us the path to loving them well and becoming a church that loves God with whole hearts and whole souls, with the strength we have and with minds that are whole as well as minds that are troubled.

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Editorial Reviews

Christine A. Scheller
"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."
Matthew S. Stanford
"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."
John Ortberg
"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."
Karen Miller
"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."
Linda Lake
"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."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830843046
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 4/3/2013
  • Pages: 222
  • Sales rank: 247,086
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Amy Simpson (MBA, University of Colorado) is a passionate leader and communicator who loves to encourage Christ's church and its people to discern and fulfill their calling in this life.

Amy is a former publishing executive who currently serves as Editor of Christianity Today's Gifted for Leadership and Senior Editor of Leadership Journal. Her background includes a unique career path through both the editorial and business sides of publishing, including for-profit and nonprofit organizational leadership.

She has spent nearly two decades as an award-winning writer, authoring numerous resources for Christian ministry, including Diving Deep: Experiencing Jesus Through Spiritual Disciplines, In the Word: Bible Study Basics for Youth Ministry, Into the Word: How to Get the Most from Your Bible and Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church's Mission. She has published articles with Christianity Today, Leadership Journal, Today's Christian Woman, Christian Singles, Group magazine, Relevant, Her.meneutics, and others. She has worked for Tyndale House Publishers, Group Publishing, Gospel Light, Standard Publishing, LifeWay, Focus on the Family, and Christianity Today.

Amy holds an English degree from Trinity International University and an MBA from the University of Colorado. She is deeply in love with her incredible husband, Trevor, and extremely proud of her two fantastic kids. She lives with these wonderful people in Illinois, where she is committed to using the gifts God has given her in work that changes the world.

Visit Amy's website at www.amysimpsononline.com or follow her on Twitter at @aresimpson.

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Table of Contents

Foreward by Marshall Shelley
Acknowledgments
Inroduction
1. A Family Story
2. Mental Illness Is Mainstream
3. Suffering People
4. Coping
5. Church Life
6. Ministry Life
7. Persistent Stigma
8. What Churches Can Do
9. What God Does
Notes
Resources for Ministry to People Affectd by Mental Illness
About the Author
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2013

    A must read for those of Faith who truly care about the human conditions that cripple and kill

    This wonderfully open story Amy tells of her family and the impact mental illness and the churches inability to understand and respond is both "eye opening" and insightful. Her extensive research of numerous churches nationally sheds critical light on what isn't being done, with rare exception, to address the confusion and stigma that is standing in the way of the church playing a role in bringing God's "inclusive" love to all.

    A truly must read for those who care about the souls of some of the most needy and hopeless amongst us.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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