In the wake of the high–profile suicides of prominent Cable News Network (CNN) host Anthony Bourdain and iconic fashion designer Kate Spade last week, suicide survivor and Embassy Church International leader in Atlanta US, Apostle Bryan Meadows urged his followers to take care of their mental health, reminding them that pastors should not be treated like therapists.
Meadows posted the warning on his Instagram post on Friday after Bourdain’s demise was made public.
Hear me!!! People need a pastor and a therapist! One is not a substitute for the other. When you’re in the business of inspiring others.. that’s emotionally and psychologically draining. CREATIVES need to understand why they emote and process stimuli the way they do.. We must focus on Mental Health! #suicideneedstocommitsuicide
On Saturday, he also shared a blog entry from 2012 which reveals a family struggle with mental health as well as his history as a suicide survivor.
After discussing his struggles with suicide, Meadows pointed to biblical figures like Samson (Judges 16:30), Saul’s armour-bearer (1 Samuel 31:5) and Judas (Matthew 27: 3-5, who committed suicide and others like Elijah (1 Kings 19:4), who had suicidal thoughts.
He also called suicide a spirit.
“I want to be clear that suicide is a spirit. It is an influencing agent that troubles the mind with depression, paranoia and deception to the point of self-destruction. Depression is a soulish weight that enters in by a distorted view of one’s own self-worth. Low self-esteem and not understanding ones assignment is the catalyst and beginning of depression. Depression is NOT curable by drugs. While it can be treated by psychologist and helped by counseling and support groups, we cannot dismiss the technology of intercession and deliverance,” he wrote.
Meadows recommended several Bible-based actions to combat suicide, including living life on purpose.
“We speak a lot about purpose, and to some degree it has become a mundane subject that we overlook. Some have even criticized people for teaching and preaching on the subject of purpose. I believe that the gospel cannot be preached in its totality without including the purpose of people. We must teach people that everyone is here for a reason and that no one is insignificant,” he explained.
A report in The Christian Post in March pointed to a disquieting number of pastors who had taken their own lives in the last five years. And despite the escalating prevalence of suicide nationally, and the troubling rates at which the epidemic affects certain groups of clergy, many churches remained silent on the issue.
Researchers found that more than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known diagnosed mental health condition at the time of death. Relationship problems or loss; substance misuse; physical health problems; and job, money, legal or housing stress often contributed to risk for suicide. Firearms were the most common method of suicide used by those with and without a known diagnosed mental health condition.
Source: Christian Post