by Rozella Haydée White, LEAD Consultant

This past Saturday, St. James Lutheran church hosted a training for faith leaders addressing mental health in their communities. This was the first training of many to come and it was sponsored in conjunction with the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston. One of the important aspects of the conversation was around language.

Many people use mental health and mental illness interchangeably, but mental illness is an aspect of mental health. We all have mental health, but not everyone experiences mental illness. When we decided to focus on mental illness, we had conversation around the language we wanted to use. Mental illness carries more stigma and we want to address the actual illnesses that many leaders live with. The most common mental illnesses are depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, and attention deficit disorders. 1 in 4 people are affected by/live with mental illness and this includes leaders.

LEAD is committed to the larger conversation around mental health, but we are beginning our focus on mental illness. Watch this space and join the conversation on social media using the #mentalillnessmonday hashtag. If you would like to keep abreast of this particular initiative, send us your info.

For more information about mental health and mental illness, check out the article: Mental health vs. mental illness.