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(RNS) As fans of Robin Williams reel from the news of his suicide, faith communities -- including the nation’s black churches -- have started to address mental illness as a crucial area of focus.


  1. Why does it take the suicide of a famous entertainer, or anyone of fame, to make us aware that we ignore mental health in our society? This is just like the “1%” thinking they have more rights than middle class and poor people, thinking they have the right to run the nation only for their continuing greater economic advantage.

    The Republicans complain about the Affordable Care Act. From the beginning, they have tried to attach their racial bigotry to it by nicknaming it “Obamacare.” That’s shorthand for “it’s black care,” and they’re inferring the “N” word in that nickname in spite of the fact that Obama is only half black.

    The medical insurance companies, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies, the medical industry altogether, are robbing us blind. How many doctors are also big share holders in health insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies? You wouldn’t remain conscious if you learned that selfish, greedy influence.

    Consider the struggling straits to which the masses of our people are consigned by the selfish greed of the wealthy and those who are trying too climb up that ladder of selfish, greedy wealth behind them.

    We should already have efficient universal health care, and yet the selfish, greedy Republicans and some of their Democrat cohorts refuse to do any governing at all except wage foreign wars, kill other needy people, using the lives and bodies and minds of our ordinary people just like guns and tanks and planes and bombs and other materiel of warfare.

    What kind of religion is that? What kind of morals are those? What kind of ethics are those? It is nothing but selfish greed in phony disguise, the wealthy using everyone else to make them wealthier and protect them.

  2. What about the untold numbers of ordinary people who are driven to suicide by mental and material problems every day?

    What’s new about the outrage of neglected conditions that drive people into mental illness and suicide?

    What’s new about the ways we ignore all kinds of mental illness when it fills our media daily–even when it fills the halls of all levels of our government? We always ignore it until someone famous commits suicide, or someone who is mentally ill kills or maims someone else.

  3. Chaplain Martin

    Fine coverage by Adelle Banks. Good to learn of the work of Mental Health First Aid and the work of the Black Church pastors. I hope that many of our Black brothers and sisters will avail themselves to the Clinical Pastoral Education offered at major hospitals and other places. Most seminaries and religious education institution would know of such training.

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