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Mental Health Resources

Mental Health

At Focus on the Family, our passion is to help families thrive in Christ. Mental health issues can prove to be a major component of the family – Christian and non-Christian alike. As the subject of mental health and mental illness are repeatedly in the media headlines and discussed more openly in Christian and secular arenas, our desire is to equip you and your family with helpful information.

We hope the following articles, resources and referrals will help you and your loved ones as you wade through the complexities of mental health and mental illness.

Articles

How to Help Your Child Having an Anxiety Attack

Managing Anxiety

Anxiousness and Anxiety Disorders

Additional articles on anxiety

Books

The Anxiety Cure by Dr. Archibald Hart (2001)

Dr. Hart explores anxiety and the roles played by brain chemistry, physiological responses, and patterns of thinking—and he compassionately offers steps for holistic healing.

The Anxious Christian: Can God Use Your Anxiety for Good? by Rhett Smith (2012)

Whether worried about work, finances, marriage, or any other life concerns, God can use your fear for spiritual growth. Smith suggests looking at anxiety as a catalyst to help you become all the Lord intends.

Anxious for Nothing: God’s Cure for the Cares of Your Soul by John MacArthur (2012)

There’s no end to the number of reasons we could be anxious in life. But MacArthur explores Scripture to explain how to release those concerns to God’s care and rest in His peace.

Broadcasts

Helping Kids Conquer Their Fears (Guest: Danny Huerta)

A licensed counselor, Huerta explains why young children experience fear and how parents can respond. Rather than discounting their children’s concerns, parents can help them learn to have courage and appropriately face fears.
Listen now.

How Mental Illness Impacts Families (Guests: Dr. Jared Pingleton, Dr. Don Graber, Dr. Ricardo Whyte)

Mental illness can take a variety of forms, such as anxiety, depression and phobias—but it’s often misunderstood or goes untreated. Experts compassionately discuss the medical, psychological, and spiritual aspects of mental illness, and they point listeners to sources of help.
Listen to Part 1 and Part 2 now.

Learning to Lay Down Your Fears (Guest: Angie Smith)

Smith shares struggles she’s faced since she was a small child—including questioning her purpose, God’s plans, and if she’s a “good enough” Christian—and how God is teaching her to trust Him and rest in His peace.
Listen to Part 1 and Part 2 now.

Books

Mood Swings by Paul Meier, M.D., Stephen Arterburn, M.Ed., and Frank Minirth, M.D. (2000)

Learn the physiological influences of bipolar-related disorders, and find hope through medical, spiritual, and lifestyle intervention.

Grace for the Afflicted by Matthew S. Stanford (2017)

Each day men and women diagnosed with mental disorders are told they need to pray more and turn from their sin. Mental illness is equated with demonic possession, weak faith, and generational sin. As both a church leader and a professor of psychology and behavioral sciences, Matthew S. Stanford has seen far too many mentally ill brothers and sisters damaged by well-meaning believers who respond to them out of fear or misinformation rather than grace.

Broadcast

How Mental Illness Impacts Families (Guests: Dr. Jared Pingleton, Dr. Don Graber, Dr. Ricardo Whyte)

Mental illness can take a variety of forms, such as anxiety, depression, and phobias—but it’s often misunderstood or goes untreated. Experts compassionately discuss the medical, psychological, and spiritual aspects of mental illness, and they point listeners to sources of help.
Listen to Part 1 and Part 2 now.

Articles

Dealing With Depression

Anxiousness and Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety Disorders: Frequently Asked Questions

Anxiety Disorders: A Brief Overview

Depression: A Brief Overview

Depression: Reject the Guilt, Embrace the Cure

Books

Healing Depression for Life by Dr. Gregory L. Jantz

In Healing Depression for Life, Dr. Gregory Jantz offers a new way forward. Drawing on the innovative whole-person approach that has made his treatment center one of the top 10 depression treatment facilities in the US, Dr. Jantz reveals the treatments, practices, and lifestyle changes that can provide lasting relief from depression―by addressing its chemical, emotional, physical, intellectual, relational, and spiritual causes. Not all depression is the same, and not all people with depression are the same. Healing Depression for Life will help you find the missing puzzle pieces that could make all the difference in overcoming your feelings of helplessness and hopelessness and put you on the path to lasting joy.

Turning Your Down Into Up by Dr. Gregory L. Jantz with Ann Mcmurry

If you feel you will never get out of depression, Dr. Gregg Jantz has one word for you: hope. Gregg believes that since every person’s path into depression is unique, every path out will be unique as well. And healing is possible.

5 Keys for Dealing with Depression by Dr. Gregory L. Jantz (2006)

How many “bad days” can you have in a row before those “bad days” become something more that just feeling down? Dr. Gregory Jantz gives you practical ways to recognize the signs of depression. Using five time-tested keys, this book will take you through a “whole person” and biblical approach to healing, so that you can overcome depression.

The Freedom from Depression Workbook by Dr. Les Carter and Dr. Frank Minirth (1996)

This workbook features a 12-step plan to define and identify depression, understand the physical and mental factors of depression, and develop keys to lasting change.

Beauty in the Browns: Walking with Christ in the Darkness of Depression by Paul Asay

Beauty in the Browns author Paul Asay understands what it means to live as a Christian with depression. He offers hope and help to those suffering from mental illness as well as those trying to help them.

Understanding and Loving a Person with Depression by Stephen Arterburn, M.Ed. and Brenda Hunter, Ph.D. (2017)

This encouraging guide will help you hold on to hope while broadening your understanding of depression and its treatment. Dr. Brenda Hunter has been a caregiver for someone with depression and has also struggled with depression herself.

Broadcasts

Embracing God’s Promises for My Life (Guest: Sheila Walsh)

Walsh shares how God has used her brokenness through shame, depression, and perfectionism to help reach others. She encourages listeners to be vulnerable before the Lord so their days are filtered through His love.

Shining a Light on Depression (Guests: Gregory Knopf and Gary Lovejoy)

Drs. Gary Lovejoy and Greg Knopf, co-authors of Light on the Fringe: Finding Hope in the Darkness of Depression, discuss the symptoms, factors and available treatments of depression.

My Journey Through Depression (Guest: Tommy Nelson)

Pastor Tommy Nelson shares of his battle with depression amidst the responsibilities of leading a family and church, and how his wife and others supported him through the pain and frustration to find healing in Christ.

Embracing Hope in the Midst of Postpartum Depression (Guests: Jeramy and Jerusha Clark)

Jerusha Clark describes her past struggles with severe postpartum depression and how she found recovery in a discussion based on her book Living Beyond Postpartum Depression: Help and Hope for the Hurting Mom and Those Around Her. Jerusha’s husband, Jeramy, offers guidance for how husbands can come alongside their wives during this difficult season.
Listen now.

Walking Through Depression  (Guest: Paul Asay)

Offering hope to those struggling with depression, Plugged In’s Paul Asay discusses his own battle with this affliction and the healing he’s experienced through his relationship with Jesus Christ.

Understanding Teen Depression and Suicide (Guest: Dr. Gregory Jantz)

Best-selling author Dr. Gregory Jantz offers practical advice for helping parents whose teens may be dealing with depression.
Listen to Part 1 and Part 2 now.

Finding Hope Again (Guest: Kay Warren)

Kay Warren explains how childhood trauma and/or mental illness can make people susceptible to suicidal thoughts, and encourages us to focus on what Jesus accomplished on the cross, to seek comfort in Him, and to stand strong until we see Him.
Listen to Part 1 and Part 2 now.

Clinging to God Through the Pain of Depression (Guest: Sarah Robinson)

Sarah Robinson struggled with suicidal ideation and depressive thoughts that plagued her soul. Sarah shares her story of clinging to Christ and gives practical help to those in need. Listen to Part 1 and Part 2 now

Articles

A Neurodiverse Marriage: One Wife’s Story

Autism and Marriage: 3 Signs your Spouse May be on the Autism Spectrum

What Parents Need to Know About Autism

What You Need to Know: Raising Children on the Autism Spectrum

More articles on Autism

Books

Dancing With Max by Emily Colson
The true story of a single mother’s love and perseverance, her son’s autism diagnosis with its challenges and gifts, and their triumph together over life’s toughest obstacles.

United in Autism: Finding Strength Inside the Spectrum by Julie Hornok
As a mother of a daughter with autism, Julie Hornok has experienced her fair share of parenting challenges, and now brings together thirty inspiring and heartfelt stories from parents raising children from all places on the spectrum and from all corners of the world. These mothers and fathers have experienced some of the worst of what this disorder can do, but in seeking help, they found it … and more. Now they pay it forward by sharing their accounts and giving back to the autism community. United in Autism: Finding Strength inside the Spectrum offers understanding, comfort and hope as well as global allies and strength to those who feel alone.

The Out of Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz, M.A.
The groundbreaking book that explains Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) – and presents a drug-free approach that offers hope for parents – now revised and updated.

Broadcasts

Embracing God’s Unique Design for Autism

Don’t Give Up: Raising a Child With Autism

 

mental health resources

Articles

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing – (EMDR)

Defining and Understanding Trauma

Books

Understanding and Coping With Trauma by Gail Schra · Focus on the Family online booklet

Trauma can affect all of us, resulting in emotional distress and shock that can overwhelm our abilities to cope—potentially leading to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Learn the symptoms of trauma and how to find help toward healing.

Recovering from Losses in Life by H. Norman Wright

Life is marked by a variety of losses, says certified trauma specialist H. Norman Wright. Some are life-changing, such as leaving home, the effects of natural disasters or war, the death of a loved one, or divorce. Others are subtle, such as changing jobs, moving, or a broken friendship. But whether readers encounter family, personal, or community disaster, there is always potential for change, growth, new insight, understanding, and refinement.

When War Comes Home by Chris Adsit, Rahnella Adsit, and Marshéle Carter Waddell

Offered through Cru Ministries This resource provides a biblical framework with advice from counselors and medical professionals for addressing the struggles of war, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Understanding and Loving a Person with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by Stephen Arterburn, M.Ed. and Becky Johnson

As someone who suffered from PTSD herself, Becky Johnson knows what is most helpful on the path to recovery. Becky teams up with Stephen Arterburn to offer:

– Insight into what is happening in the brain
– Background on treatments such as EMDR
– Ideas on what to say and what not to say
– Suggestions for calming a loved one during a PTSD episode

Broadcasts

How God Saved a Military Marriage (Guests: Chad and Kathy Robichaux)

Both from broken homes, the Robichauxs married right out of high school. Chad is a former Marine in Special Ops, former firefighter, former police officer, and former professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter. After eight tours in Afghanistan, he suffered from PTSD, neglected his family, and became involved in affairs. Chad and Kathy separated, but Kathy worked to set her own heart right with God while God was helping Chad overcome PTSD symptoms and straighten out his priorities. Their marriage of 20 years is now stronger than ever, and they operate Mighty Oaks, a Christian outreach to soldiers who’ve experienced military trauma.
Listen to Part 1 and Part 2 now.

How Mental Illness Impacts Families (Guests: Dr. Jared Pingleton, Dr. Don Graber, Dr. Ricardo Whyte)

Mental illness can take a variety of forms, such as anxiety, depression and phobias—but it’s often misunderstood or goes untreated. Experts compassionately discuss the medical, psychological, and spiritual aspects of mental illness, and they point listeners to sources of help.
Listen to Part 1 and Part 2 now.

The Impact of PTSD on Military Families (Panel)

Many military families struggle with the aftereffects of war as men and women return home with physical wounds and psychological pain. Guests discuss their experiences with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and they encourage listeners to seek help for their own families.
Listen to Part 1 and Part 2 now.

Other resources on trauma here.

Articles

Help and Hope for Anxious Pastors

Fatigue in Ministry: Good and Bad Emptiness

Pastoral Ministry and Suicide

Books

Caring for People God’s Way: Personal and Emotional Issues, Addictions, Grief, and Trauma edited by Dr. Tim Clinton, Dr. Archibald Hart, and George Ohlschlager (2009)

Learn to care practically for the most common issues brought to Christian counselors and pastors.

Christian Mindful Manners by Marvis Williams (2010)

Williams offers a biblically based approach to how the church can and should respond to those who struggle with mental illness.

Fresh Hope: Living Well in Spite of a Mental Health Diagnosis by Brad Hoefs and Dr. Michael Egger (2013)

Hoefs shares his journey of resigning as senior pastor of a large church and starting Fresh Hope after being diagnosed with a bipolar disorder. Whether you or a loved one suffer from mood disorders, be encouraged that there is help.

E-Book

Serving Those with Mental Illness

This e-book provides a summary of the latest research findings from LifeWay Research on mental health and the church— along with helpful articles, brief medical overviews for acute mental illness, and recommended resources.

Mental Health Books

Mental Health and the Church

by Stephen Grcevich, MD

Troubled Minds

by Amy Simpson

Unglued

by Lysa TerKeurst

Forgive, Let Go, and Live

by Deborah Smith Pegues

Additional mental health resources can be found on the Focus on the Family Online Store.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

How Mental Illness Impacts Families

Our guests take a compassionate and knowledgeable approach to the topic of mental illness, discussing its medical, psychological and spiritual aspects as well as the challenges it poses for families. Listen to Part 1 and Part 2 of the broadcast today!
Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Helping Those Suffering From Mental Illness

Dr. Matthew Stanford offers a compassionate look at mental illness, which affects one in five teens and adults in the United States. He discusses the need for overcoming the stigma of reaching out for help and encourages the church community to offer hope and healing for families with loved ones suffering with mental health issues. Listen here.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Focusing on Your Family's Mental Health

Counselor Debra Fileta answers some general questions on mental and emotional health, covering topics like toxic people, codependency, anxiety and depression, and getting professional help. This insightful conversation will encourage you as you assess your own health and relationships. Listen here.

Referrals

Focus on the Family Counseling Consultation Line
If you’re struggling and need someone to talk to, Focus on the Family offers a one-time free phone consultation with a caring Christian counselor. Call 1-855-771-HELP (4357), Monday through Friday, 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM (MT). Our staff may need to call you back, but they’d love to speak with you. You can also search our directory for a licensed Christian counselor in your area via Focus on the Family’s Christian Counselors Network.

Focus on the Family Pastoral Care Line
As part of our outreach, we invite clergy to call and speak with a pastoral counselor Monday through Friday, 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM (MT), at 844/4-PASTOR (472-7867).

Depression Outreach
971/231-4131
depressionoutreach.com
This organization offers seminars and a variety of resources related to depression.

Fresh Hope
3434 North 204th Street Elkhorn, NE 68022 402/932-3089
freshhope.us

Mental Health Grace Alliance
201 Old Hewitt Drive, Suite D Waco, TX 76712
254/235-0616
mentalhealthgracealliance.org
This group provides recovery programs, support groups, training, and collaborative partnerships to help positively impact mental health care.

National Alliance on Mental Illness
3803 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100
Arlington, VA 22203 800/950-6264
nami.org
NAMI offers research, advocacy, and support groups for those affected by mental illness.,

Anchor International
455 S Youngfield Ct.
Lakewood, CO 80228
anchorinternational.org/
Anchor International is a nonprofit organization creating space for faith and mental health