When we don’t know where to start, how can we let the gospel in and help buoy others through mental health trials?
Overcoming mental health challenges is a struggle that no one needs to go through alone. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are called to “mourn with those who mourn, …to comfort those who stand in need of comforting” (Mosiah 18:9). When it comes to physical trials, we tend to find helping easy. When helping with mental health trials, however, many of us are confused on how to even begin.
In his general conference talk “Addressing Mental Health,” Elder Erich W. Kopischke addresses this very concern. He urges members to ignore their worries, to reach out and make their concerns—and their love—known to people who are going through these trials. He says, “My final observation: we need to constantly watch over each other. We must love one another and be less judgmental—especially when our expectations are not immediately met.… I believe it includes simple acts of love, meekness, kindness.”
One of the most helpful things anyone can do is to keep contact and to stay caring. In the midst of mental health crises, individuals may lash out or seem unresponsive. While there is certainly a level of attention that can be undue, small but meaningful contact and invitations (even refused ones) are real ways to show love and compassion.
If we do our best to stay engaged, stay loving, and stay listening, we can help people even in the midst of mental health challenges.
Read Elder Erich W. Kopischke’s full talk “Addressing Mental Health” to learn more about mental health and the gospel.
—Dylan Parker, Latter-day Saints Insights
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Find more insights
To read more about how to handle your own mental health challenges, try “3 Tips to Help You Stay Afloat Mentally” by Kayla Orlando.
If you want to read more about God’s love, even in the midst of mental health challenges, read “The Beauty of the Broken” by Elizabeth Gallagher.