Here in Canada, this week (May 4-10, 2020) is Mental Health Week. This week always has such significance to me because of my own experience with mental health. It's been a big part of my life, story, and my conversion.
Though I've found it to be much easier to speak about as the years go on, there are still some moments where I feel shame or stigma when it comes to talking about it. Particularly in a Catholic/faith-based perspective, there are always times where I wonder if I'm praying enough, or if God loves me, or if I'm even worthy of healing.
As I've gone through my own healing and medical journey, I've come to see that I am worthy of healing and that God offers me healing. This has given me a sense of not only my worth but the desire I have to share this truth with others. No matter what you are struggling with, you are not alone and God can and will heal you!
The following is a curation of some great resources and writings from some amazing people I know who are also mental health warriors:
Lisa Rumpel was a guest on The Feminine Genius Podcast, and together we spoke about her own journey with mental health and why speaking up about it matters. Take a listen to our episode below:
Lisa is also the host of the podcast The Resilient Catholic, and I encourage you to take a listen and subscribe wherever you listen to your podcasts!
She also has a great blog where she shares her writings and thoughts on this topic. Be sure to check it out!
Carrie Schuessler was also a guest on the show who shared her experiences with chronic illness, pain and mental health from a faith-based perspective. Take a listen to our conversation here:
Carrie, as you may remember, is the host of the podcast I Choose Grit, and you should definitely check out this podcast as well!
Tommy Tighe, well known for his book The Catholic Hipster, has an amazing podcast called Saint Dymphna's Playbook. St. Dymphna is the patroness for those who struggle with mental health/illness, so this is an aptly named podcast that is informative and to the point. It's one of my favourite podcasts on the topic for it, and probably one of the best ones that I've come across!
Blog posts, articles and books
"On Being Catholic with Mental Illness" - I wrote this blog post a few months ago on my personal experience with this issue and how it has impacted me.
"Lessons learned about Catholics with mental health struggles" - An article from Crux by Mary Rezac (Catholic News Agency) on a number of interviews and conversations she did on this topic. It was really insightful and I found myself relating to a lot of the article, and I appreciate the time it took to put something like this together.
Surviving Depression and Reclaiming Regret, both by Sr. Kathryn J. Hermes, FSP - Both of these books come highly recommended and were shared with me when I was going through my own struggles. I've had the privilege to hear Sr. Kathryn speak, and her approach to these topics is so tender and understanding, and this certainly comes through in her writing. Learn more about Sr. Kathryn and her books and ministry here.
Finally, I invite you to join me on Facebook and Instagram live on Friday, May 8 at 4 PM PST!
I want to share my own experiences and answer any questions you might have on this topic, and I hope you can join me then! You can set a reminder for yourself on Facebook here and be sure to follow me on Instagram @femgeniuspod!
As well, please feel free to send any questions ahead of time in the comments below or by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We'll talk to you soon, and let's continue to break the stigma around mental health!
St. Dymphna, pray for us! Rachel