When Someone You Love Is Not Okay: A Conversation About Mental Health Part 2

2024 Messages

In Part 2 of a two-part series, TA talks about being the right friend or family member when you know someone who is struggling with mental health.

Timothy "TA" AteekMay 12, 2024

In This Series (5)
When Someone You Love Is Not Okay: A Conversation About Mental Health Part 2
Timothy "TA" AteekMay 12, 2024
When You’re Not Okay: A Conversation About Mental Health Part 1
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Easter 2024 | John 11:17-44
Timothy "TA" AteekMar 31, 2024
Good Friday 2024
Dave BruskasMar 29, 2024
Vision Sunday 2024
Timothy "TA" AteekJan 7, 2024

Key Takeaways

Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

In order for us to experience God as shelter and refuge, we often need good friends and family members who can call us in to take shelter in Christ in the midst of the storm. As members of Watermark, Jesus has saved us into a family and put His Spirit inside each one of us so that we can help one another experience and enjoy life in Christ. The last thing we want to do is hurt instead of help one another as we seek to pursue life in Christ in the midst of battling mental health. Here are three ways we can become good comforters to those in our lives who might be struggling with mental health.

Good comforters hear and see when someone is not okay (Job 2:11-13). It is helpful to know what to look for. Pay attention when someone is:

  • Feeling sad or anxious often or all the time
  • Not wanting to do activities that used to be fun
  • Feeling irritable‚ easily frustrated‚ or restless
  • Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Waking up too early or sleeping too much
  • Eating more or less than usual or having no appetite
  • Experiencing aches, pains, headaches, or stomach problems that do not improve with treatment
  • Having trouble concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions
  • Feeling fatigued‚ even after sleeping well
  • Inability to accomplish daily tasks or work responsibilities
  • Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless
  • Increased negative talk
  • Increased substance use
  • Thinking about suicide or hurting yourself

Good comforters prioritize presence (Job 2:13). Job's friends initially don’t just try to fix Job. They enter into Job’s pain with him. And then they just sit with him for seven days and seven nights without saying a word. The best comforters value presence with patience.

Good comforters seek to comfort instead of call out with the truth. If you know someone who is struggling with mental health, there is a difference between seeking to comfort them with truth and seeking to call them out with truth. Instead of calling someone out with Philippians 4:6-7, what if you read it and said: “Don’t despair. Let’s keep pressing in together. God is glorified when we seek him. Let’s keep doing what Scripture calls us to do. Let’s ask of God. Let’s thank God. Let’s continue to believe that God can bring peace in his timing and in his way.”

If someone is struggling with mental health, there is a good chance they already feel like a failure. They already feel deficient and that they are failing God. The last thing they need is for you to put an exclamation point on those thoughts.

Discussing and Applying the Sermon

For those struggling with mental health, remember Jesus, who on the night he was arrested, was grieved to the point of death. And yet He endured the cross and conquered Satan, sin, and death so that in the midst of your struggle you can by faith have hope in Him that He has ensured a day when mental illness will be no more. And yet in the meantime, He is with you actively to comfort and provide what you need to endure.

And for those not struggling with mental health, may you ask God to give you, by His Spirit in you, the selflessness of Christ to be able to look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others. This is the way of Jesus, the eternal Son of God who became man, who was selfless enough to become obedient to the point of death on a cross for the salvation and comfort of all those who would put their trust in Him. In Him, may we selflessly give of ourselves to be good comforters with the love and comfort of our Lord and Savior.

  • Do you know anyone who is struggling with mental health? How can you best care for and walk with them through it?
  • One of the best ways to express care for someone is by asking good questions:
    • I care about you, here is what I have noticed, would you be willing to share how you feel like you are doing?
    • Can you identify anything that caused you to start feeling this way?
    • How long have you been feeling this way? Do you have a history of feeling this way?
    • Does anyone else know that you have been feeling this way?
    • How do you cope with how you are feeling?
    • Have you had thoughts about ending your life? Do you have a plan to end your life?
  • How does Christ provide what you need in caring for someone who struggles with mental health? How can you point them to Christ through being a patient, present friend?