Message of support from Steve Austin, a Mighty Contributor, former pastor and suicide survivor who is working to reimagine religious faith in a positive light.
I was raised in a religious culture really rooted in fear, shame and guilt. And boy, if anything’s terrible for your mental health, it’s that.
Hi friend, I’m Steve Austin, and I’m a suicide survivor. I was a pastor when I nearly died by suicide in 2012. The last seven years have
been all about recovering from the very worst day of my life. Learning how to be the healthiest human I can be, which includes
being the healthiest husband, the healthiest dad. Also reimagining faith for me. For me, reimagining faith, that is loving and kind and
patient and present, has totally transformed my life. In addition to that ‘Im extremely passionate about self-care. I just want people to
know that they’re not alone. I work with the corporate world, I still work with the church world. We know that mental health
is stigmatized in a major way and it’s even more stigmatized in the church. Helping educate that world is a great passion of
mine. Helping church leaders understand that you can be a person of faith and you should also go to therapy, take your meds, to keep
you healthy. Then the other thing I think pastors can do is model vulnerability from the pulpit. Talk to us about your life. Sure, share a
Bible story, do all the typical sermon things, but show us who you really are. It will then encourage us and give us permission to be seen