In this episode:
If you could change something about how your church perceives mental health, what would you change? This week, Robyn Mulder talks about her journey and how she’s helping others find hope for their struggles with depression.
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In this week’s podcast, Robyn Mulder shared her vulnerable story of becoming overwhelmed in a new job, having a flare with clinical depression, and how she came to a place where she wanted to harm herself. But what Robyn is known for is helping others process their thoughts in healthy ways. She has learned when to push herself and when to rest.
Getting Past the Mental Health Stigma in Church
In our conversation, Robyn talked about the church and finding help for mental health. She was in a supportive church community, but some readers/listeners may have experienced stigma surrounding mental health. She said some people don’t get the help they need because they think they must hide their struggle.
After Robyn was hospitalized and received ongoing treatment, she reached out to a friend. They started support groups within their church communities, and they use the curriculum from Brad Hoefs in Fresh Hope (see resources below). Some people who have dealt with depression don’t want to go to a support group because they don’t want others to know they are struggling, but slowly the stigma is lifting.
About Robyn: Robyn Mulder and her pastor-husband Gary live in Platte, South Dakota and have four adult children. Robyn is a freelance editor who loves catching typos. She's currently working on a book about her experience with depression and how we can all stay healthy emotionally.
Robyn’s message to listeners is: don’t give up. There is help, and she wants to break down those barriers. We talked about some of the things people did to help her in the midst of her crisis.
Help for Those Experiencing Depression
Here are a few of the high points of our discussion:
- Robyn quit her job when she realized the overwhelm was not helping her mindset.
- How we “decorate” our minds matters. When we allow messages to stay there, we tolerate stuff that doesn’t belong.
- Get to know your personal limits and don’t compare your capacity with someone else’s.
- Notes of encouragement are helpful. Robyn savored the messages she received when she was in the hospital and read every word on the cards.
- Journaling is a way of getting the thoughts out and processing.
- Support from others can include learning how to respond to someone who is depressed—knowing when to press them to participate and when to give space.
- Cooking meals is helpful when someone is in a crisis and needs a boost.
Robyn mentioned the following book by Brad Hoefs as a resource. Fresh Hope is a peer-to-peer Christ-centered wellness approach to mental health recovery based upon six tenets that empowers people to connect both their faith and recovery principles. This approach both empowers and encourages individuals to live full and rich lives in spite of their diagnosis. You can check the Fresh Hope website to find a group in your area: Fresh Hope
Robyn’s Blog and Groups:
www.robynmulder.com - Focus Friday Blog and other resources
www.therobynsnest.org - Help for angry moms...and happy moms too! She blogs on procrastination, controlling our thoughts, and practical ways to grow spiritually.
To read Robyn’s chapter in Life, Repurposed: Stories of Grace, Hope, and Restored Faith.
You’ll find comfort, inspiration, and wisdom in these stories from women just like you. Every encouraging account shows hope and renewed faith as they have come through trials and tough times, including family struggles, infertility, health challenges, doubt, fear, human trafficking, depression, heartbreak, loss, and more.
(Please note: books posted here on my blog are purely because I want to share them. Sometimes I receive free copies for review, and other times I purchase the books. Some I get from the library. Either way, any endorsement I offer here on the blog is simply because I want to talk about the book. )
Michelle Rayburn is the author of The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure, as well as a small group Bible study to accompany the book. Learn more about these and her other books here. A sample chapter of the book and Bible study are available for free download.
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