WATCH: T. D. Jakes Discusses Mental Health Amid Coronavirus Pandemic and Racial Unrest in Virtual Conversation With Chirlane McCray

One reason why the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice are taking a toll on people’s mental illness is that “we were not created to be alone,” said megachurch pastor Bishop T.D. Jakes in a virtual conversation with Chirlane McCray, writer and activist and the wife of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Friendship is so important to have the ability to develop relational skills with people to whom we don’t have responsibilities,” Jakes told McCray in a recent online conversation.

This is because, he explained, “when you have relationships only with people who have expectations from you, sometimes their expectation of you is part of the weight that’s on you.”

He continued, “But when you’re in a friendship relationship where there is no expectation on you, you don’t have to worry about, you know … the mortgage is behind … We’re just friends, so I can just call you up and just have a meltdown and it really doesn’t matter, it’s going to be OK.”

“And then, by the same token, give them that same freedom to be able to access you and we can be our brother’s keeper.”

The answer to the question if I am my brother’s keeper “has to be ‘yes.’”

“We have to assume the responsibility of looking across the office. And the person who seems out of sorts today, … stop by and say, ‘You seem kind of stressed out today. Are you OK?’ Or ‘I brought you a cupcake this morning.’ You know, just some simple and fun. And creating an environment where people can have relationships.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar