If good can come out of the agony surrounding Matthew Warren’s tragic suicide, it’s that it forces the church to think through its response to mental illness and how to care better for those who suffer with it. I’m hugely encouraged by some of the initial responses to this terrible loss, and hope that it may mark a significant turning point in the church’s understanding of these complex issues, and turn the hearts and minds of many Christians to this large though often neglected and despised group in our churches and communities. Further to my post yesterday on 7 Questions about Suicide and Christians, here are some of the most outstanding posts I’ve read in the last 24 hours or so.

How Churches can respond to mental illness Ed Stetzer with a nicely balanced piece on what the church can do for those suffering with mental illness.

When a loved one takes his life Timothy Dalrymple relates some of his own struggles and concludes: “When I was a child, I believed that God looked at suicides with anger.  I don’t believe that anymore.  I think he looks on those who commit suicide with great compassion.  They have not had an easy go of life.  And for those who have given their lives to God, there is no deed, even a final deed committed in despair, that can separate them from his love.”

Can a Christian get depressed? Christian author, Adrian Warnock, a psychiatrist by training, answers the question, “Why do some Christians feel that Christians should not get depressed?”

The Asphyxiation of Hope Michael Patton attempts to describe the indescribable, and comes as close to it as anyone I’ve read.

Matthew Warren, His Family, and Guidelines for the Rest of Us Some strongly stated Don’ts and one simple Do.

Someone you love is deathly sad and you don’t even know it This one will sensitize you to the suffering of those who may be under your own roof.

How do we as a church respond to mental illness? Singer Sheila Walsh’s father committed suicide and she has suffered with deep depression also. Two very moving interviews with her here and here.

Lets stop keeping mental illness a secret “For years, we’ve reserved the term “mental illness” for only the most extreme cases, but 26% of us in any given year suffer from depression, anxiety and a serious number of other mental illnesses, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It’s a dirty little secret few people want to talk about, a devastating statistic implying that, in each of our families, we all care for someone who faces this pain.”

http://headhearthand.org/blog/2013/04/08/mental-illness-suicide-the-church-awakes/