One of the most important conversations needed in the church is that of mental illness. There are different ways we can do this. It can be by describing the facts of mental illness or telling the stories of people with mental illness. The latter is the content of Christ on the Psych Ward.
David Finnegan-Hosey was a seminary student whose life on the outside looked promising. What people didn’t know was what was happening on the inside. David was struggling with mental illness and soon found himself checked into a psychiatric unit.
David lets us into his experience, even letting us peek into his journal from those days. I found his story moving and his reflection on the presence of Christ to be inspiring.
This is not the story of a person who once had mental illness and is now “healed.” David is honest about his ongoing struggles. I appreciated his comparison with alcoholism. Alcoholics never become ex-alcoholics. Mental illness is a lifelong part of the human experience.
David and I don’t come from the exact same point on the theological spectrum. I would be somewhat more conservative. But the story he shares is the same human experience and the same Christ who is present.
I really appreciated Christ in the Psych Ward, especially in the progress it makes at confronting the stigma that goes with mental illness. This is a voice that we desperately need to hear in the church today.