I started out by going over the following numbers:
~ 1 in 4 adults—approx 57.7 million Americans—experience a mental health disorder in a given year.
~ Over 33,000 people in the United States die by suicide every year. (90%+ of those who die by suicide have a diagnosable mental disorder.)
~ Approx 24 million people in the U.S. deal with depression every year but between 80‐90% of people with depression respond positively to treatment
~ Adults living w/serious mental illness die 25 yrs earlier than others, largely due 2 treatable medical conditions.
We talked about the stigma attached to mental illness, why the stigma exists and what it results in. It was a good discussion and I am so thankful for everyone being so willing to discuss this.
Donnie (our teacher) had started the lesson by talking about John 9:1-5
1As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
3"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. 4As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
It tied in beautifully with what I talked about. I hope that I planted a seed in everyone that listened today and that they will either share my story or their own story.
I also shared what has brought me the most peace in dealing with L's illness and everything that has resulted from it. It was a lesson that took me a while to learn but that has been a tremendous help to me. It was the lesson to put my complete faith in God. I cannot control L's illness but throughout all of this God has been with us and guiding us through this no matter what.