May is Mental Health Awareness Month …
For the occasion, we offer some of the best books we’ve read on mental health and mental illness for Christian readers.
Some of these books take a more theological approach to understanding mental health, or a practical approach to fostering mental health in our churches. Others help us understand the social dynamics that surround mental health, and you also will find several memoirs of mental illness, some of which were written by Christians.
We feature our theology book of the year first, and after that the remaining book are in alphabetical order by the author/editor’s last name….
Books on Christianity and Mental Health…
3) Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope
Not a Christian book, but one of the best books I’ve read on understanding the social forces that are intertwined with mental health, and particularly anxiety and depression.
There was a mystery haunting award-winning investigative journalist Johann Hari. He was thirty-nine years old, and almost every year he had been alive, depression and anxiety had increased in Britain and across the Western world. Why?
He had a very personal reason to ask this question. When he was a teenager, he had gone to his doctor and explained that he felt like pain was leaking out of him, and he couldn’t control it or understand it. Some of the solutions his doctor offered had given him some relief-but he remained in deep pain.
So, as an adult, he went on a forty-thousand-mile journey across the world to interview the leading experts about what causes depression and anxiety, and what solves them. He learned there is scientific evidence for nine different causes of depression and anxiety-and that this knowledge leads to a very different set of solutions: ones that offer real hope.
I would add Toward a Theology of Psychological Disorder by Marcia Webb (Cascade Books, 2017) and Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness by Matthew S. Stanford (IVP, 2017) to this list.