"Do Not Judge, Or you Too Will Be Judged" - Brave Faces Advocate Kimberly Speaks to Burney Presbyterian

When Mike Kerns, a member of  Burney Presbyterian Church, asked Brave Faces advocate Kimberly Davis if she had a scripture she wanted read during the Sept. 7 Sunday service, she responded immediately.

"Matthew, Chapter 7, Verse 1 and 2," said Kimberly, a 26-year-old Burney resident and Shasta College student.  "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged . . ."

"My favorite," Mike winked back.

Later in the service, Kimberly spoke to the congregation about her struggle with bipolar, suicidal thoughts and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from her mother's recent death. In addition to help from therapists at Hill Country Community Clinic in Round Mountain and support from Circle of Friends in Burney, she explained that her faith was always an important part of her recovery.

"There was always one person who I could go to and who I know would never judge me for what I was going through," she said. "And that was God."

As one of the Brave Faces speakers Kimberly has been sharing her story to community groups and classes for more than two years in order to reduce stigma associated with mental illness.

It's estimated there are 16 million Christians in California, and because one in four people deal with a mental illness in any given year, that means there are millions of Christians who are struggling and may seek support from their church community.

A Baylor University study found that Christians are far more likely to disclose a mental health struggle to  a church leader than a mental health professional, so there are very important opportunities to help people within church communities, said Brave Faces Coordinator Marc Dadigan.

"I've gone to a lot of Catholic Masses in my life, and I've heard a lot of prayers for surgeries and physical problems," he said. "But I'd love to hear more prayers for people struggling with depression or for people who survived a suicide."

After the presentation church members gave Kimberly hugs, and chatted with her over cake and treats.

"Thank you for a wonderful and eye-opening testimony," Mike told Kimberly.

To have a Brave Faces speaker come share with your church or faith community, contact Marc Dadigan at (530) 225-5970 or mdadigan@co.shasta.ca.us.

For ideas on how to reduce stigma in your church, go here.


Previous Brave Faces Blogs 

June 29, 2014 - "Work Helped Make Me Well" - Christopher Speaks to Shasta County Clerical Staff