Recently, a church member shared two stories on mental health that I thought were fascinating and worth considering.
I have written frequently on mental illness (and medication) as of late. In addition, LifeWay Research is currently engaged in some significant research on the church and mental illness, which will be completely finished this fall.
If you are interested, here are some articles I have written on the topic:
- Mental Illness and the Church: New Research on Mental Health from LifeWay Research
- Mental Illness & Medications vs. Spiritual Struggles & Biblical Counseling
- Mental Illness and the Church: Some Helpful Honesty from Christian Leaders You May Know
- Suicide, Stats, and Recovering in the Aftermath: Frank Page Shares About Melissa
- Freefall to Fly: An Interview with Rebekah Lyons on Anxiety, Depression, and Freedom
- How Churches Can Respond to Mental Illness (my piece at CNN Belief)
But today, I want to address the two helpful articles from Heath Lambert, executive director of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (formerly the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors or NANC), one of several biblical counseling organizations.
In the articles, Dr. Lambert refers to myths about what the ACBC believes.
First, he addressed the myth that the ACBC is against the use of medication:
“Taking psychiatric medications is controversial. Many people have legitimate questions about their use and effectiveness. Such questions and controversies are not unique to Christian conversations, either. Plenty of secular and medical professionals are writing book-length critiques of the use psychoactive medications.
“My job here is not to argue that the use of psychiatric medications is uncomplicated. My job is instead to state that the decision to use them is outside the professional purview of most counselors. Most people doing counseling today—of the biblical or secular variety—lack the medical licensing required to authorize the use of prescription medications. This means that most counselors lack the training and permission to be able to put people on or take people off of these medications.
“The reason we teach our counselees to handle the issue of medication this way does not only have to do with their lack of a medical degree. The reasons also have to do with loving others well. When someone comes off these medications it can have a very serious effect on the body. A person’s life can be threatened. These kinds of medical decisions where the health and safety of a human being are at stake must be left to medical professionals.
“Does this mean that it has never happened that a NANC counselor somewhere has told somebody to quit taking their medication. No. In fact, I’m relatively confident that it has happened. I am also confident that there is a cashier or two at the grocery store down the street that has stolen money from their register. When they steal the money, however, I don’t think they do it because the manager told them to. I also don’t think that if the manager found out about it that they would be awarded employee of the month.”
Source: Charisma News | ED STETZER