Attending to the spiritual life and health of families and persons with significant disabilities, including mental illness, often means providing a caring presence during times of crisis. The basic rule is, Be there at critical times: at a birth, a diagnosis, the struggle for appropriate services. We don't have to have answers.We do have to hear and hold the questions, struggles, and pain.
Spiritual care for families living with disability looks beyond crisis care to offer ongoing expressions of Christ's love.
While crisis care is important in providing encouragement and a tangible sign of God's presence in the midst of chaos, spiritual care for persons and families touched by disabilities also looks at the larger picture. Congregations are uniquely qualified to provide such care on an ongoing basis, but it takes giving deliberate thought to developing a sustainable plan.
When persons with significant disabilities emerge from a crisis and life appears to be more "normal" again, many hidden needs can remain, including the very real danger of depression and collapse.
Often, the church community breathes a sigh of relief when the crisis is over, but the family may be left with significant questions and considerable anxiety and stress. We hope that the resources for caring shared here will support and encourage you in the vital role of providing an ongoing, tangible presence of Christ's love.