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How Should Pastors Respond to People with Mental Illness?

Steve Austin shares his story of recovery from a suicide attempt on the Not Your Mama’s Christian Podcast.

I grew up in the church, and we never talked about things like mental illness. We did talk about demon possession. We talked about sin. We talked about a lack of faith. And we told people to choose joy, but we never talked about things like depression, anxiety, bipolar, or PTSD.

The sad fact is that my aunt died by suicide when I was a young teenager. As such, I knew that mental illness did exist. Her death rocked my family, and we longed for a safe place to grieve and to heal.

I was honored to share my story on the Not Your Mama’s Christian Podcast recently. I’m so encouraged by the compassion and curiosity of Shane and Eric, the two hosts of the show. They’re both pastors who want to see the church do better. They asked important questions and allowed me to tell my story: the good, bad, and the ugly.

This interview includes the following topics:

  • self-care
  •  mental health
  • recovery from a suicide attempt
  • childhood sexual abuse

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By Steve Austin

Steve Austin is an author, speaker, and life coach who is passionate about helping overwhelmed people learn to catch their breath. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers, "Catching Your Breath," and "From Pastor to a Psych Ward." Steve lives with his wife and two children in Birmingham, Alabama.