Matters of the Mind: Latter-Day Saint Helps for Mental Health
By: Marleen S. Williams, Dean Belnap, and John P. Livingstone
I originally purchased this book simply because I had one of the authors (John P. Livingstone) for a few classes at BYU and really enjoyed his lessons. I thumbed through it and found some useful information. When things got more personal, I appreciated the information even more.
This book is broadly divided into four main sections: understanding mental illness, mental illness and Latter-Day Saints, understanding some common mental health disorders, and coping with mental illness. Understanding mental illness provides a good background on brain anatomy, development and how medication treats mental illness. Mental illness and Latter-Day Saints provides some gudiance on choosing a counselor, discusses the spirtual aspects of mental health and includes a recommended reading list. Understanding some common mental health disorders gives in-depth information about different illnesses including aspergers, anxiety, depression (with separate chapters devoted specifically to men and women), mood disorders, phycotic disorders, eating disorders and cognitive disorders. Each of these chapters provides specific suggestions on what to do if you suffer from this illness as well as what to do if someone you love suffers from this illness. From my own experience, when things got the most chaotic, these suggestions provided me timely guidance on how to respond to different situations. Finally, the section on coping with mental illness explains mental health law (which is useful if a loved one is ever hospitalized), resilience techniques, discuesses how mental illness effects families, and offers guidance on caring for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease.
The writing is clear, concise and thorough. It provides the reader with enough information to be knowledge about the topics presented while still being accessible to a wide audience. I was grateful to have it when I needed it. Whenver I talk with someone dealing with mental illness in their life or the life of someone that care about, I always recommend this book.
I consider this book a “should buy” for anyone. For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, this book is one of the most helpful and useful books I have read. Whether in your role as a parent, spouse, home/visiting teacher, member of a quorum/auxilery presidency/bishopric, friend, neighbor, instructor, or anything in between, the pervasivness of mental illness means that you will usually be serving someone effected by mental illness. To better empathize and know how to provide help, the information this book provides is essential.