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.

Coffee and Bible

Anxiety & Fear

Books

The Anxiety Cure by Dr. Archibald Hart (2001)

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 (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.

How Mental Illness Impacts Families (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.

Learning to Lay Down Your Fears (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.

Bipolar Disorders

Books

Blue Genes: Breaking Free from the Chemical Imbalances that Affect Your Moods, Your Mind, Your Life, and Your Loved Ones by Paul Meier, M.D. (2006)

Many psychological problems can be linked to chemical imbalances in the brain. Meier discusses the difference that counseling and medicine can make toward resolving issues that affect mood and personality.

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.

When Someone You Love Suffers From Depression or Mental Illness by Cecil Murphey (2004)

Day-to-day activities and special challenges can be overwhelming when coming alongside those with mental illness. Murphey encourages you to care for yourself and keep your eyes on God in the midst of uncertainty.

Broadcast

How Mental Illness Impacts Families (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.

Depression

Books

Blue Genes: Breaking Free from the Chemical Imbalances that Affect Your Moods, Your Mind, Your Life, and Your Loved Ones by Dr. Paul Meier (2006)

Many psychological problems can be linked to chemical imbalances in the brain. This resource discusses the difference counseling and medicine can make toward resolving issues that affect mood and personality.

Hope Again: A 30-Day Play for Conquering Depression by Mark A. Sutton and Dr. Bruce Hennigan (2001)

Christians struggle with depression on a regular basis. Conquering Depression draws on personal experiences and is   grounded in biblical and medical principles to offer a 30-day plan for managing and overcoming 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.

Broadcasts

Embracing God’s Promises for My Life (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.

Finding Hope After My Darkest Day (Kristen Anderson)

Anderson shares her testimony of surviving being run over by a train in a suicide attempt—losing her legs in the process. She recounts coming to faith in Christ, and she talks about what parents can do to reach out to a depressed teen. 

Shining a Light on Depression (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 (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 (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.

girl looking at the sunset

Trauma & PTSD

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.

When Someone You Love Suffers From Depression or Mental Illness by Cecil Murphey (2004)

Day-to-day activities and special challenges can be overwhelming when coming alongside those with mental illness. Murphey encourages you to care for yourself and keep your eyes on God in the midst of uncertainty.

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.

Broadcasts

How God Saved a Military Marriage (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.

How Mental Illness Impacts Families (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.

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.

For Pastors

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.

Q&As

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.

Online Store
Focus on the Family Broadcast

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, working with LifeWay Research, conducted a Study of Acute Mental Illness and Christian Faith. To view this study, please visit LifeWayResearch.com.

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.
Download The Steps to Mental Health Guide.

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.,

My Quiet Cave
1101 S Washington St
Denver, CO 80210
720/722-CAVE
myquietcave.org/contact/
My Quiet Cave is a nonprofit organization creating space for faith and mental health