Kay's Blog


24 Hours of Hope | World Mental Health Day

Today, October 10, is World Mental Health Day. This is a day to pause and seriously reflect on the more than 400 million people worldwide living with a mental illness. It’s a day to question the current state of mental health treatment – what’s working and what isn’t. It’s a time to raise our voices to advocate for more money for research. This is the day to end the stigma surrounding mental illness – to declare that having a mental illness is not a cause for shame or embarrassment. It’s a moment to wonder how YOU can become a more compassionate friend to someone you know who is suffering in quiet ways. Most of all, it’s the time for those of us who claim to be Christ-followers to live out our faith – to create churches that practice radical hospitality by welcoming in the broken, the wounded, the weary, the physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally ill brothers and sisters. It’s a day to offer hope! Hope that there is effective help, hope that life can be different, hope that God’s plan for our lives is GOOD.

Join us today for 24 Hours of Hope at www.mentalhealthandthechurch. Share this with everyone – somebody you know desperately needs hope today!

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National Suicide Prevention Week

As National Suicide Prevention Week draws to a close, I want to say thanks to the hundreds of you who have shared your stories of pain, struggle and yes, HOPE. I asked a few days ago for anyone who lives with major depression or suicidal thoughts to let me know what keeps you tethered to life – and how you make it through the darkest moments of despair. You have responded with such amazing, vulnerable, and authentic words.

Most of you mentioned three “ties:” Family, faith, and friends who don’t walk out when things get tough. Yep. I would agree wholeheartedly. These are the three “ties” that have given me the strength to live again after Matthew’s death. My family – my husband and my other children and grandchildren; my faith – my heart is more turned towards Him than ever before; my friends – faithful, compassionate, sacrificial friends who have allowed our grief to be theirs. Many of you also spoke of good medical care – caring therapists, plus treatments and medication that alleviate or manage some of the most troublesome symptoms. I’ve read stories that are so painful I can’t keep the tears from flowing down my face as years and years (sometimes decades) of suffering from crushing depression and suicidal thoughts are recounted. It’s been hard to read.

HOWEVER... and this is the most beautiful part... I’ve also read stories of hope. Stories of men and women who are survivors of the bleak despair... people who are now living happier, more fulfilling lives than they ever thought possible. I am ending this week with more joy and hope than ever before. Major depression and suicidal thoughts are NOT automatic guarantees of an awful life, nor is suicide inevitable. God is with you and will never leave you. There are medical breakthroughs and resources and proven treatments available. Whether your biological family loves you the way you deserve to be loved or not, the family of God – which is eternal – will listen, encourage, pray with you, give you a hand when the darkness settles in. As brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ, soul-satisfying friendships can be formed. YOU MATTER! Your life matters. As my friend Jamie Tworkowski says, “No one else can play your part!” For those in the black pit of pain: There is hope. There IS hope! There is HOPE!

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