With all the advocacy and educational work that you do on mental health issues, why was doing a retreat for moms a priority?
After Matthew died, I talked to hundreds of parents who have kids with mental illness. And it slowly began to dawn on me that not only did parents not have enough support, they didn’t have good community.
There are a lot of reasons for that. There’s stigma and discrimination against people living with mental illness. In the Christian community, there’s a standard that we feel like we have to measure up to—you know, perfect marriages, perfect families, always “things are good, things are good.” And when your life isn’t good, you end up hiding how difficult your life really is.
When there is serious mental illness, there can be extreme chaos, violence, or threats of violence. There is extreme dysfunction. There can be homelessness, substance abuse, and a sense of helplessness. And so parents don’t have a place where they can really say, “This is what my life is like.” And I just kept thinking, what can I do, what can I do? How can I help make a place for others, particularly moms, where they can be real, where they can tell their story, where they can find community?
Then a really good friend—you!—said early this year, “Have you ever thought about doing a retreat for moms?” And my response was “Uh, no, but I will.” It became crystal clear to me that that was exactly what I was supposed to do.
The interview I got to do with @KayWarren1 for Christianity Today @CTmagazine is a must read. You’ll see how God is using the anguish of her son’s life & death w/mental illness to help other moms facing similar suffering. She’s rich, deep, faith building. https://t.co/mQkAKcUBQ9
— Kelly Rosati (@KellyMRosati) November 12, 2019