Spirituality and Mental Health

Can you "pray away" mental illness? Is there hope for people who commit suicide? Kai and Libby discuss the Catholic Church's teaching on mental illness, and what you can do if you find that you and others are struggling with it.

Episode 51 · September 23, 2019 · Youth, YouTube, apologetics

Diving Deeper

  • Have you experienced mental illness personally, or do you know someone who has? (Mental illness refers to a wide range of disorders that affect how you feel, think, and act and interfere in the ability to cope with normal demands of life.)
  • What can we learn from the lives of saints who struggled with mental illness, such as St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa), St. Ignatius of Loyola, or St. John of the Cross? How did their suffering affect their compassion for others?
  • When a friend comes to you with concerns about mental illness, how can you help him or her? Why is saying “Cheer up,” “Just get over it,” or “Don’t worry about it,” unhelpful in conversations about depression?

Activity

In the United States, nearly one in five adults lives with a mental illness. Every person is impacted by mental illness, either personally or through a friend or family member.
If you find that you struggle with depression, anxiety, or other forms of mental illness, what are some things that you can do or seek out in order to feel better? These can include professional treatment, support from family and friends, and spiritual practices that will help your relationship with God grow.

Resources

Other Resources
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741
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