A number of us participated in the first gathering of what we're calling the Book Circle. It's kind of like a book club, but with a twist - that we want to read good and provocative books (fiction, non-fiction, possibly but not necessarily written from a faith perspective) and, after reading and talking about the book, decide to shift or change or practice something new as a result of what we've read.
For our first meetup, we read Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett, a Pulitzer-nominated novel tracing a family navigating the complexities of mental health across two generations. While the book was our starting point, our conversation quickly shifted to our own experiences, stories, and questions around mental health and wellness.
How do we understand mental health?
How do we navigate acute crises in mental health?
How might our faith interplay with mental wellness?
How might Open Door as a family better walk with each other through complex and difficult seasons?
We didn't arrive at any quick or easy answers - that wasn't the point of our time. But our conversation did guide us toward new practices: normalizing conversations about mental health, opening up about our own stories, making intentional shifts in language around mental health, integrating spiritual practice and practices of mental wellness.
A couple of invitations:
Take some time to learn about an aspect of mental health you don't know much about.
Share a story of a mental health challenge you've encountered.
Pray for and reach out to someone you know navigating the complexity of mental health.
(And join us for the next round of the Book Circle!)