USA (MNN) — Mental health: it’s a tough topic in today’s churches. Mental illness remains taboo, according to LifeWay Research, even though anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S.
While many mental health issues require medication, some are rooted in emotional or spiritual trauma.
Set Free Ministries is a Christian counseling ministry focused on biblical healing and restoration. By “setting the captives free,” Executive Director Dean Vander Mey explains, Set Free is helping the Body of Christ find healing.
“One of the reasons we’re so busy is because a lot of church leaders don’t want to talk about difficult subjects,” says Vander Mey.
“We talk about sexual sin. We talk about alcoholism. We talk about drug addiction. We talk about cutting.”
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults age 18 and older, or 18% of the population. People with an anxiety disorder are 3-5 times more likely to go to the doctor, and 6 times more likely to be hospitalized.
“We’re the most medicated people on the planet. Why is that?” asks Vander Mey. “There [are] too many people who are hurting, and they’re not dealing with their unresolved spiritual and emotional issues.
“Their bodies, psychosomatically, begin to fail. We have to get to the core issues of why we’re not doing so well in our nation today.”
Using a process outlined here, Set Free counselors walk with people through a journey of past pains, forgiveness, and restoration. It’s encapsulated best in the “before and after” portraits of King David in Psalms 38 and 51.
In Psalm 38, Vander Mey says, “read about King David and the condition he was in spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
“He was a wreck. That’s because he had hidden sin of blood guilt, and he had hidden the sin of adultery….It affected him horribly. That’s a ‘covenant child’ who’s suffering because he’s hidden sin.”
A dozen Psalms later, the intervention of a close friend and prophet brings healing. “Only through a ‘Nathan Experience’ could King David be set free and healed,” notes Vander Mey.
“Psalm 51 is a beautiful picture of King David being healed through confession and renouncement of sin. And, that’s what we do at Set Free.”
In the past year, Set Free counselors have walked hundreds of families through this healing process. They aim to continue in 2016, Vander Mey says, but Set Free will need your support to help more families find healing through Christ.
Set free to function
Set Free Ministries exists to help mend the broken pieces of the Body of Christ so that it can fulfill God’s plans and purposes. One of Set Free’s fledgling ministries, Warriors Set Free, found its wings in 2015.
“We’re seeing some pretty outstanding testimonies coming from some of these vets, who are getting resolution from some of their post-traumatic stress issues,” Vander Mey shares. “That would be one of the ‘highlights’ of 2015.”
Gary* is one of Set Free’s success stories. “He was prepared to shoot himself a few months ago,” Vander Mey shares.
“[Now] he’s got so much faith, hope, and love he wants to ‘get in the saddle’ and help other vets the way he’s been helped.”