Mental Illnesses


Mental Illnesses

Supporting the church's caring response

​According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year. About 1 in 25 experiences mental illness to a degree that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities. They include anxiety, mood, and personality disorders, bipolar illness, and schizophrenia, among others. Though these illnesses are typically recognized by behavior and internal feelings, it is not always recognized that they result from physical illnesses of the brain.

The high prevalence of mental illnesses in the population means all or nearly all congregations will include people living with a mental illness. If you are not aware of anyone in your congregation who lives with a mental illness, you might consider two questions:

  • What might your congregation be doing that makes it hard for people with a mental illness to participate?
  • How might your congregation make it hard for people living with a mental illness to be open about their struggles?

Because the topic of mental illness is vast, in ADN's resources, we focus our limited resources on supporting the church's caring response to mental illness. We invite you to explore them in the links on this page.

Where to learn more

Articles on our website

Congregations and Mental Illness
Mental Health and Mental Illness
Hope in Crisis
Setting Healthy Boundaries

Book recommendations

A Mother Held Hostage
A Relentless Hope

Bipolar Faith​
Ministry with Persons with Mental Illness
Much Madness is Divinest Sense
Troubled Minds

Beyond ADN

If you are looking for information on specific mental illesses, we commend to you the websites of the National Alliance on Mental Illness or the National Institute of Mental Health. Or contact us with your questions.

 Learn more

    • Ideas for working together in the congregation to create an environment that supports success for children and youth with mental health challenges
    • Learn more about depression and anxiety, two of the most common mental health disorders.
    • Setting healthy boundaries enables us to persist in sharing Christ's love through difficult circumstances.
    • Resources on planning a congregational mental health education series.
    • Learn about understanding and supporting people who live with various mental illnesses
    • Resources for congregations on understanding and supporting trauma healing.
    • Learn about preventing suicide and responding with caring after a suicide has occurred.

 Related resources

 Opening doors