The best thing about this book is that it includes information on the Trevor Project and suicide prevention. Well done! But the reason that I would noThe best thing about this book is that it includes information on the Trevor Project and suicide prevention. Well done! But the reason that I would not recommend this book to anyone is that it paints a very unrealistic picture of "the mental ward". In reality, most patients stay an average of 4 to 5 days, not 45 as portrayed in the novel. Secondly, safety is the utmost priority in a behavioral setting so believing that a patient could gain access to pills and overdose is highly unlikely. Finally, the lack of supervision depicted in this novel does not exist. In most facilities, showers are locked, they are located in the rooms, and an employee stands outside the shower to make sure that the patient is safe. Community showers and restrooms are nonexistent. In addition, during the night, a "guard" is posted in the hallway. Patients who left their rooms would be noticed right away. The most accurate fact in the novel about psychiatric hospitals is that more people are always waiting for a bed to be available. I realize that this novel is fiction, but it should be "realistic" fiction. There are more than enough myths about mental healthcare. Novels like this are not helpful even if some readers find them "funny".
Prior to reading this book, I admired Jimmy Wayne for his Christmas book and song, Paper Angels. So when I saw Walk to Beautiful while browsing on KinPrior to reading this book, I admired Jimmy Wayne for his Christmas book and song, Paper Angels. So when I saw Walk to Beautiful while browsing on Kindle, I downloaded the sample. I read the sample and immediately bought the book. The book has four sections: Part One - Earning a living as a successful country singer/songwriter and touring with Brad Paisley; Part Two- The Crazy Years (Jimmy's tumultuous childhood); Part Three - Saved by Love (being blessed by the generosity of an elderly couple and launching a career in country music); Part Four - The Walk (walking halfway across the country to raise awareness of the needs of young adults aging out of the Foster Care System at 18). Jimmy has more grit and heart than most people on the planet. He tells the story of his childhood, being raised by a bipolar mom who abused alcohol, used drugs, had unhealthy relationships with men, and even spent time incarcerated. Jimmy and his sister, Patricia, relied on school meals and food stamps, but when neither option was available, they foraged for food or worked at odd jobs (like searching for and selling lost golf balls). His childhood exposure to violence and distorted religion will make you realize that it is a miracle that Jimmy survived. Whereas some people respond to repeated misfortune with bitterness, hate, and crime, Jimmy was able to tap an inner strength to remain positive/survive, but also to kindle a desire to help others. If you are not familiar with the overwhelming needs of the multitudes of children across this country who rely on the struggling foster care system, this book will be an eye opener for you. If you are a parent of a child who has graduated from high school but who still needs the support of parents to successfully become an adult, you will realize the honest need for support for foster children beyond the age of 18, to a minimum of 21. If you are a teacher, and you read about sixth grade teacher Ms. Friday or junior high guidance counselor Cindy Ballard, you will understand the important role you can fill in a child's life. If you are a policeman or an employee within the correctional system, you will see that you have an opportunity to treat others with respect and to encourage them to learn from past mistakes rather than treat them like "trash" to be thrown away. If you are a successful musician, reading about the generosity of John Oates, you will stop to consider what you are doing to help others with the fruits of your blessings. If you are a Christian, remember being a follower of Jesus is a call to a life of social justice. Be careful to portray God as Love. The quality of the writing/editing does not equal the amazing life story nor the huge heart of Jimmy Wayne, but I would highly recommend this book because it reminds everyone of the best and worst of humanity. Jimmy challenges us to choose a life of compassion and a life filled with generosity. He reminds us that one person can really make a difference. Jimmy inspires us by wanting to "Bea" somebody for other kids who need someone to meet them halfway. Jimmy humbly asks readers to join him in his "Walk to Beautiful"....more
This book had many strengths. First it was a short, easy read but it was surprisingly comprehensive. Unlike some Christian books on mental health, MurThis book had many strengths. First it was a short, easy read but it was surprisingly comprehensive. Unlike some Christian books on mental health, Murray has a very common-sense, balanced approach to the complex challenges of depression. I like that he cautioned readers about extreme views of the causes of depression, explaining how these could be harmful to the depressed person. I think Murray is very realistic in showing that the cure for depression isn't the same for every person but it is most often multi-faceted. Medication isn't the magic bullet but it may be one of the primary steps toward improvement. The section on correcting false thinking is vital information for everyone and I was pleased that it was included in this book. Finally, I think it is good that one chapter was devoted to caregivers. Personal support by informed and loving friends/family often makes the ultimate difference in helping others manage depression....more
Caution - contains spoilers This is the story of Leisl, the owner of Wild Rise Bakery. She grew up as an only child and learned the art of bread-makingCaution - contains spoilers This is the story of Leisl, the owner of Wild Rise Bakery. She grew up as an only child and learned the art of bread-making from her mother and grandmother. As the story unfolds, the reader learns that Leisel's mother was mentally ill (bipolar) and committed suicide when Leisl was only 12. She carries deep scars from unresolved grief and copes with life by throwing herself into making bread and avoiding close relationships. When Seamus and his daughter Cecelia come into Leisl's life, her neat and tidy life is disrupted. Cecelia keeps inviting Leisl to socialize and to go to church with her. (I liked this plot element a lot. A little child leading Leisl back to God.) I also really liked the whole Wild Rise crew - all so unique with burdens of their own, working together but also supporting one another like family. Recipes for bread and the history of bread are woven throughout the novel. In addition, the novel includes Biblical bread references and explores Jesus as "The Bread of Life".
Towards the end of the novel, Leisel questions who she really is because she discovers that she was adopted as a child. Her mother and half sister get in touch with Leisel after they see her on a Food Competition Television show.
Some readers have said that this novel has "too much going on" but I find that life is really like that. Sometimes it takes multiple life factors beyond one's control ( Television show offer, Xavier's death, Seamus and Cecelia move to Tennessee, adoption is revealed) for a person's true character to be revealed. I think this happened to Leisl. Her routine was completely disrupted and she was forced to look at her life and choose the direction that she wanted to go, instead of merely hiding in her work.
I rarely like Christian fiction because the plots invariably seem to follow a formula. Stones for Bread is a welcome exception. Life is messy. Mental illness and grief leave scars that get in the way of following Jesus. Sometimes the Christian walk isn't a straight path. I found this depiction authentic and inspiring. ...more
The thing I liked most about this book is it's tone. It disputes the idea that mental illness is caused by sin and instead takes the enlightened approThe thing I liked most about this book is it's tone. It disputes the idea that mental illness is caused by sin and instead takes the enlightened approach: mental illness is first and foremost due to brain dysfunction. To me, blame and shame must be eliminated if people are going to reach out and get the help that they need. I appreciated the historical overview of mental illness within the church context and thought it is important for people to know that there are newer models currently operating in the church, especially if they have had negative experience with churches in the past. I like that the author admits that this book will not give "answers". It is rather a book that will give the reader an overview of mental health conditions and options. I think the author did a good job of conveying that treatments will vary but often include both a medical (medication) component and a therapy component (counseling, either secular or Christian). I would like to have seen a brief chapter about "helping someone who is struggling". I believe books on mental health should always include crisis information because sometimes intervention can't wait until an appointment can be scheduled. I thought is was insightful of the author to encourage readers to look for mental health support within the larger Christian Church, rather than confining oneself to only the local church. Her suggestions will no doubt be helpful for many readers. I disliked the title. Too dramatic and not hopeful. The church should be a place of grace, healing, and hope. The title doesn't normalize mental illness but rather plays into the negative "crazy" thought process and labeling. ...more
This book hurt to read. Unlike other readers, I had to put it down and take breaks because it was so raw, honest, painful, and true. I cried, I wantedThis book hurt to read. Unlike other readers, I had to put it down and take breaks because it was so raw, honest, painful, and true. I cried, I wanted to scream, and I wanted to give Rachel and her family a hug. Diagnosing a mental illness is difficult, especially in young children and adolescents. There are no medical tests and the mental health system is so splintered that continuity of care almost never happens. Finding a doctor, locating a therapist, working with the school, repeated trips to the ER and behavioral hospitals, are all exhausting for parents and sadly, support for the family is virtually nonexistent. In addition, a mental illness in the family drains financial resources and strains family relationships. It is tragic for everyone close to the one with mental illness, and it often ends badly. Rachel knows. Her mother did not survive. No wonder it breaks her heart to watch her daughter be so beyond her reach. The one positive thing about the memoir is that it is a brave sharing that is breaking the silence and it calls attention to the fact that the mental health system is indeed mad. How can a mentally ill person, who lacks insight and rational decision-making skills, be expected to ask for help? It takes someone being hurt or imprisoned before the law can mandate that medication be given against the will of the patient. Humane or Insane? Everyone should join the conversation and more money should be allocated to attack the devastation of mental illness....more
Amy grew up in the Midwest, the daughter of a pastor. As a child, she did not understand what was going on with her mother, but she did know that therAmy grew up in the Midwest, the daughter of a pastor. As a child, she did not understand what was going on with her mother, but she did know that there was something "off". Amy and the rest of the family worked to cover for her mother until there is no denying that she needs more help than they can give her. She is diagnosed with schizophrenia. Amy tells her life story, including the secrecy, the inadequate mental health care, and the church's lack of support. In this book, Amy aims to educate readers on mental health facts but also about the impact that mental illness has on the family. She traces the history of mental health care in the United States and challenges churches to become informed. She firmly states her belief that churches should be accepting and nonjudgmental of those who suffer and their families. She suggest a variety of ways to confront stigma and encourages the silence on mental health in the church to be broken....more
This is a book everyone should read to become more fully human and compassionate. It is wise but not didactic, full of heart but not preachy. Anyone wThis is a book everyone should read to become more fully human and compassionate. It is wise but not didactic, full of heart but not preachy. Anyone who has suffered pain from illness, loss, or accident and anyone who knows others who suffer would benefit from this book. The author was inspired to write this book when his wife was struggling with ovarian cancer but it is not just his opinion. He surveyed about 5,000 people who were suffering and compiled their answers in order to make the suggestions in this book. This is a book that will change and empower you.
I have read this book several times. Because I found it so helpful, I recommended it for a book study selection. Everyone in the group rated it highly and went on to read other books by this author or other books published by Stephen's Ministry....more
In this book, Morin lays out a plan for improving mental strength by becoming aware of how our thoughts, behaviors, and emotions are intertwined. SheIn this book, Morin lays out a plan for improving mental strength by becoming aware of how our thoughts, behaviors, and emotions are intertwined. She says that being mentally strong isn't about acting tough but about acting according to your values. Additionally, mental strength isn't synonymous with mental health. Instead it is about choosing to develop healthy habits even if you have depression, anxiety, or any other mental health problems. Morin helps the reader tackle 13 poor habits by sharing anecdotes, stories, and research. At the end of each chapter, there is a summary of what is "helpful" and what is "not helpful". Below is a list of the 13 chapters: 1) They don't waste time feeling sorry for themselves 2) They don't give away their power 3) They don't shy away from change 4) They don't focus on things they can't control 5) They don't worry about pleasing everyone 6) They don't fear taking calculated risks 7) They don't dwell on the past 8) They don't make the same mistakes over and over 9) They don't resent other people's success 10) They don't give up after the first failure 11) They don't fear alone time 12) They don't feel the world owes them anything 13) They don't expect immediate results...more
Meggie's mother gives rides to and is kind to Sam, a man from their church. Meggie doesn't like him because he isn't clean and he has few social skillMeggie's mother gives rides to and is kind to Sam, a man from their church. Meggie doesn't like him because he isn't clean and he has few social skills. In fact, the berry-picking man, makes her so uncomfortable that she often hides from him. And yet, Meggie feels responsible for this man. As she learns his personal history and watches her mother model kindness, Meggie begins to change.
This brief book touches on the closing of mental hospitals due to lack of funding and goes far into exploring what it means to have empathy....more