GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Mental health is being talked about more in churches following the suicide of megachurch pastor Jarrid Wilson on Monday. Wilson suffered from depression and was a mental health advocate.
“It’s part of my testimony, part of my story,” said Pastor Bill Russell, Jr. of Harvest City Church, who has been open with his congregation about his past struggles with depression. “I think that sometimes people see men of the cloth or women of the cloth and they forget they are human. If you cut us we bleed the same way, cry the same tears.”
For years stigmas have been associated with anxiety and depression, leaving many people not to talk about it, especially pastors fearing it was a sign of weakness. But with more public education and resources, Russell says people are understanding that no one is immune from the struggles of mental health.
“We as a church are talking about the issue and asking questions; what is mental health, how do we define it and how do we speak to it Biblically?” he said.
Russell says his church pairs up members struggling with church leaders and mental health professionals to help them battle.
”You need a pastor and you need a therapist and they are equally as needed,” he said.