blogathon 2008: helping people with mood disorders

marja bergen's new book about finding meaning in a life with bipolar disorderas my regular readers already know, i’m participating in this year’s blogathon, a marathon in which selected bloggers (see list below) participate in order to raise awareness and funds for their favourite charities.

on july 26, starting at 5 am (yes, in the morning!) for 24 hours, every 30 minutes, i’ll be posting a blog entry.

the charity i’ve selected is the canadian mental health association (vancouver/burnaby branch), an organization that i’ve been very proudly part of for the last three years. their mission statement is:

CMHA vancouver-burnaby promotes mental wellness and increases understanding of mental health issues through innovative and collaborative approaches in the areas of public education, accessible services and personal empowerment.

for a preview of the kind of material you’ll be reading, let me tell you a little about marja bergen. you’ve encountered marja here before. a photographer and writer who lives with bipolar disorder, she has been helping people who suffer from mood disorders since 1999. she is an outspoken proponent of better church support for people with mental illness.

yesterday i went to lovely garden party launch of her new book, a firm place to stand.

a firm place to stand is a must-read for christians who struggle with mental health challenges and the faith communities who minister to them.

for too long, society has misunderstood and feared individuals who live with mood disorders. this book dispels the lingering stigma attached to mental health conditions and encourages people to lovingly welcome the sufferers into congregations by understanding them better and supporting them in practical ways.

most importantly, for the sufferers themselves, a firm place to stand shows that it is possible to have a mental disorder yet be close to god and derive strong support from a growing relationship with christ.

in her sincere and candid style, marja bergen reflects on her forty-two years with bipolar disorder, showing how faith in god can help a person with a serious illness turn weakness into strength. she describes how god transformed her from an insecure, withdrawn person into a leader, an activist, and the founder of living room, the growing christian support group for people with mood disorders.

during the blogathon, i will tell you a little more about the book and marja’s fantastic new venture, the living room.

others who are participating in vancouver’s blogathon are

rebecca bollwitt

raul pacheco

tania morrison

shane gibson

karen hamilton

ayeza garcia

danny dang

mehnaz thawer

barbara doduk

chris richardson

colleen vince

duane storey

5 thoughts on “blogathon 2008: helping people with mood disorders

  1. marian

    fantastic isabella! and what a powerful concept: churches taking a more active, community-support role in the lives of people who suffer from mental illnesses. now THAT is progress! (nopt to mention speaks to the core of christ’s message to us to help others). we have tried institutions; we have tried to leave the entire burden on families (likely mothers); surely it is time for some help from the huge resource of the church.
    on a more positive note, this looks (barring any abuse possibilites – and churches are in the limelight for that) like it could be a great thing for the person suffering the illnesses.

  2. Bipolar Disease

    I came across your blog while doing a search for bipolar and noticed this post. I am in the process of creating a new type of blog that does partly focus on bipolar disorder and how it can affect families like mine. It isn’t really a self-help type of blog, but a personal true story that is currently unfolding with some resources and real life experiences from the point of view of those involved and I think your readers may find it compelling.

    Thank-you.

    Bipolar Disease’s last blog post..The Central East Correctional Centre Transfer AKA Lindsay Penitentiary

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