Later edit: Please note that I have now finished the interviewing stage of my research. I was delighted that some people with mental health problems came forward to volunteer to be interviewed. Their experiences are forming part of my conclusions about disability and exclusion from churches.
There’s a missing group of people in my research into disability and churches, so far. It’s Christians with mental health problems.
I know from both existing research and personal/second-hand experience that churches can have varying responses to people experiencing mental health problems. There’s already some research and writing on the subject, but most of the academic research focuses on what churches are doing and comes from a medical ‘care’ perspective (or a ‘recovery’ perspective). I’d really like to contribute to better understanding of people’s lived experiences – of what’s really going on for Christians with mental health problems. I hope this will be helpful for them, and for churches.
I would love to hear from more people with mental health problems on the issue. It’s not a problem if you don’t consider yourself disabled, as such. My research will be looking for the different issues faced by different groups of people, as well as looking for overall themes across all participants (if those exist).
The other two groups I’m short of is charismatic/Pentecostal Christians, and people who no longer attend church. Do pass on the information about the research to anyone you know who might be interested and falls into these groups. Thank you!