Ministry with Persons with Mental Illness and Their Families.

Author:Stache, Kristine
Position:Book review

Ministry with Persons with Mental Illness and Their Families. Edited By Robert Albers, William H. Willer, and Steven D. Thurber. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-8006-9874-4. x and 245. Paper. $29.

The prevalence of mental illness in the world today, particularly in the North American context which this book seems to address, is a reality. People with diagnosed (and undiagnosed) mental illness are part of our communities, congregations, and families. Unfortunately, many are ignored or alienated because the disease, in its many manifestations, is often misunderstood. Fear or denial tends to be the default response to situations where knowledge is limited. Albers, Meller, and Thurber have edited a guide that hopes to reduce ignorance and provide resources offering help and hope to congregational leaders, caregivers, friends, and Families.

Ministry with Persons with Mental Illness and Their Families is divided into nine main chapters, each focusing on a specific form of mental illness: depression, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, personality disorders, substance-use disorders, eating disorders, autism, acquired brain injury, and dementia. The first half of each chapter provides an overview of the history of each disorder, accompanied by diagnostic criteria, and common treatments. The second half of each chapter focuses on ministry opportunities. Some chapters include narratives written by caregivers or people living with...

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