Adventures in a Foreign Land: Discovering Jesus’ Compassion for the Mentally Ill
By Lorraine Gibbard

Book, £8.99 / Kindle Edition, £5.99

When Lorraine Gibbard became a Christian, she could not imagine the tumultuous journey that awaited her. A sudden onset of mental illness shattered her successful life and left her feeling lost in a foreign land. Clinging to her new-found faith, she set out on the long journey of recovery.

Growing daily in trust and dependence on God, Lorraine began to see how compassionately Jesus viewed those suffering mental distress. As she learnt about prayer and healing, and the nature of God’s Kingdom, she was inspired to set up the Mental Health Fellowship. Supporting individuals and their carers for thirteen years, the fellowship demonstrated how mental health services and the church could work together to transform lives.

Join Lorraine in discovering Jesus’ compassion towards the mentally ill and learn how to offer practical and spiritual support.

Endorsements

‘Lorraine offers to fellow sufferers and carers a story of hope; and to the church, a compendium of insights and guidance which will assist faith communities in creating safe space for those experiencing mental health difficulties.’
Teresa Onions, former Pastoral Leader of St Thomas’s Church and former Director of Pastoral Care UK

‘This is not, as you might imagine, an account of distant travels, but rather a very honest account of someone who has struggled deeply with mental illness, in particular Bipolar Affective Disorder.

‘She describes in detail the phases of her illness, firstly when she was in a manic phase and then her struggles with the recurring depressive phases of this illness. She points out the necessity and benefits of medical treatment and is open about the familial aspects of this illness.

‘She is also a firm believer in the power of prayer and finds God’s help in a very real way in her difficulties. She learns to be patient with herself during recovery and to pace herself as she takes on her previous responsibilities. She also found great peace in nature. One of the beautiful poems she wrote was entitled Bluebell heaven.

‘She writes,

“Bluebells are fragile delicate emblems,
Sent by the God who loves to heal.
The tranquility of this lovely glade
Made me glad to be alive
A message from heaven was here in the bluebells.”

‘Strengthened by her experiences, she begins to move out towards others and worked with her church to set up a group for those struggling with mental health problems. Impressively, this group continued for thirteen years and many people were helped by it. The group was well and carefully set up, and this wisdom was further demonstrated in her involvement with carers of those with mental illness.

‘I believe this book will be very helpful for those who go through similar mental health problems. I also believe it will be a useful resource for carers and others helping those with mental health problems. It also shows how mental health services and church groups can work together for the benefit of individual sufferers. I highly recommend this book.’
Dr Stephen Critchlow, retired consultant psychiatrist and church pastor, and author of Mindful of the Light

About the Author

Lorraine Gibbard worked as a teacher before experiencing a mental health crisis. Now recovered, she works to see mental health issues better understood and supported within the church. She is married with three daughters.