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Episode 19—Even in the Darkness, There is Light

Lisa Rumpel (right) being filmed for the Sanctuary Course.

Mental illness is not an easy thing to live with. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many people: in any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians will personally experience a mental health problem or illness. But despite the challenges and difficulties that can come mental illness, there are rays of light that shine through. Lisa Rumpel is one of those radiant lights.

As a writer and speaker, Lisa has shared her own story of mental health through a number of platforms. Her goal is to spread positivity and awareness, while also framing a challenging topic within the lens of faith—a topic that can be a tough one to navigate, especially among Catholic circles.

I personally have my own struggles with the intersection of faith and mental illness, so meeting Lisa and having the opportunity to sit down with her was eye-opening and refreshing. Though there have been a lot of positive steps towards better understanding of mental illness, there still is a long way to go. I am thankful for people like Lisa who take this mission to heart and use their God-given talents to spread light to others!

Take a listen to our conversation here:

"God loves us, He takes care of us, He wants to hold us up and bring us out of this darkness, and He will see us through to the light. He won't give up." — Lisa Rumpel

Meet Lisa Rumpel

Lisa Rumpel is a writer, speaker, and Mental Health Advocate. She is a monthly columnist for the BC Catholic Newspaper, where she writes about mental health and faith. During her weekdays you can find her working at the Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese.

Lisa was born and raised in Vancouver. One month and two weeks into her last year of high school she experienced a psychosis, a break from reality. After graduating and upon entering college, she relapsed. During the long hospital visit she was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Lisa fights the ups and downs of the illness with relentless grit and faith. The journey of healing is long and slow. Her passion is to shed light and spread hope on an often invisible and isolating battle with mental illness. Creating art with words, collages, music and dance brings joy to her life.

Lisa shares her hope wherever she can: healing prayer events, breakfast talks, a Magnificat event, St. Mark's College Lenten Liturgy series, Vancouver Archdiocesan events, and suicide prevention events. She has been a guest on CBC Radio's On the Coast with Gloria Macarenko speaking about Mental Health and the Catholic Church. She was filmed for one of the videos in the Sanctuary Course, a small group study by Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries.

Lisa co-facilitates a mental health support group at a local Christian Church and is dedicated in breaking stigma and spreading wellness. Building community and strengthening friendships is something she fosters. She shares her journey of finding healing, not a cure. With her hope-filled way of living she models how life isn't over with a diagnosis and that you can live a full life with a mental illness.


To read some of Lisa's writing, please check out her blog, The Resilient Catholic.

The video that Lisa referred to in the interview is one which comes from a portion of Anderson Cooper's interview of Stephen Colbert. You can view it here.

Lisa has kindly passed along a number of resources that address mental health, some of which framed within a Catholic/Christian context:

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