The Church has added new resources to the Mental Health page on LDS.org, including candid video interviews with members experiencing mental illness and answers to “hard questions.”
The World Health Organization claims that one in four people in the world will be affected by mental illness at some point in their life. According to mentalhealth.lds.org, help is available “whether you’re just discovering the importance of caring for your own mental health, learning to cope with a mental illness, or searching for solutions to help a loved one.”
The site currently features six videos from members sharing personal experiences with depression, sadness, eating disorders, sexual abuse, schizophrenia, and suicide. An additional section provides suggestions for questions such as “How can I feel happy when I can’t feel anything” and “How can I help people understand what I’m going through?”
“There is no simple way to encapsulate the variety of experiences individuals face while living with a mental illness,” said Douglas R. Richens, a manager in the Church’s Priesthood and Family Department. “However, these resources are a start to an improved understanding and awareness of the needs. We plan to provide additional content and videos over the coming year related to more specific mental health conditions and ways to help.”
On Monday, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles—who during the October 2010 general conference acknowledged he has personally dealt with depression in his life—posted the following message on his Facebook page:
“Three years ago, I felt impressed to speak at general conference about the painful, life-altering condition of depression that affects so many. You can read the address here.
“We came to earth to face issues of mortality in the form of trials, temptations, disease, and death. It is essential for us to face personal struggles because opposition is a crucial part of Father’s plan. I suppose everybody will have some kind of an experience where they say, “I’m never going to be happy again.”
“Well, we are going to be happy again. That is also a part of the plan. It’s the very nature of it. Hang on and hope. Never lose faith in your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can comprehend. Never, ever doubt His love for you. Hold fast to the Atonement. Believe in miracles. When you’ve done all you can do, endure to the end. And remember, hope is never lost.
“Broken minds can be healed just the way broken bones and broken hearts are healed. While God is at work making those repairs, the rest of us can help by being merciful, nonjudgmental, and kind.”
“It is hoped that the Elder Holland video and the new Mental Health website will bring hope to many and be a catalyst for meaningful discussions within families and ward councils,” Brother Richens said.