as 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 she describes how god transformed her from an insecure, withdrawn person into a leader, an activist, and the founder of living room, the growing christian support group for people with mood disorders.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