With the recent death of Linkin Park lead singer, Chester Bennington, a shocked world began to talk about mental health and recovery again. Chester suffered from alcohol and drug addiction at various times of his life according to reports. He left behind a wife and six children and friends and family who mourned and wrestled with unanswered questions. The church body missed an opportunity.
If you choose any of Linkin Park’s music videos on Youtube and read the comments, you’ll see how Linkin Park songs influenced people. People are talking about serious issues like cutting and depression in response to their songs. What if the church body engaged in those conversations from a loving and compassionate place?
Did you know that mental health is playing a role in missions, too? With violence in the Middle East, Muslims new to America talk about PTSD. In America, at least, mental health is still considered a stigma by most, and this makes it difficult for people to talk freely about their struggles. Some missionary organizations are sending counselors to serve overseas. We have counselors who live and work among us who could serve online, engaging people. And, if we did our research well, we could time our online work when someone is thinking about suicide.
An article some years ago talked about what people searched on Google at particular hours. Suicide was a search term most popular at about midnight to almost five a.m. The closer to dawn the more upbeat the Google searches.
How can your church organize a social media team, with someone specializing in mental health and recovery issues, who can use their online presence to build a relationship with those needing to hear the Good News?
Note: Our prayers to the families and friends mourning the singer’s death.