Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Daily Writer with Kent Sanders

Hello, listeners of the Smart Business Writing podcast! Thanks so much for listening, and feel free to contact me with any questions or comments!

Nov 29, 2018

Today’s episode is a little different because we are tackling a heavy topic: mental illness. It’s an issue that affects all of us in one way or another. If you haven’t personally struggled with some type of mental illness, chances are very high that you know someone who has. In today’s conversation, we have a guest who digs deep into his personal experience with this issue and helps point the way forward.

I’m thrilled to be talking with Chris Morris, who is a husband, father of four, CPA, and author. He writes honestly about pain, chronic illness, and hope. He’s the author of the book Perfectly Abnormal and co-author of the excellent new book Whispers in the Pews: Voices on Mental Illness in the Church

In our conversation, Chris shares openly about his recent experience in a psych ward. He learned some powerful lessons about the church that all of us need to hear. Chris also offers practical suggestions for church leaders on making the church a safe haven for those struggling with mental illness. He also shares what to do when you are struggling with your own darkness.

This is probably the most important episode of the podcast I’ve published up to this point, so I encourage you to listen to the whole interview and take what Chris says to heart. I can promise you’ll be a better leader, artist, and human being because of his brave example and wise words.

Episode Highlights

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • The story behind Chris’s article “2 Things I Learned About the Church in a Psych Ward” and key lessons Chris learned from this experience.
  • The importance of keeping an emotional “baseline” in your life, and recognizing when you lose your baseline.
  • Suggestions for pastors on how to address mental health issues.
  • How Chris’s pastor made a big difference when Chris was in need.
  • Why no two mental illnesses look the same.
  • What Chris’s church does well that makes a difference for those with mental illness.
  • What it means to “see the person before the health condition."
  • Practical steps for Christian leaders and pastors to help those struggling with mental illness.
  • Suggestions for those struggling with dark thoughts or going through an emotionally troubling time.

Key Takeaways

1. Be aware of people who are struggling. It’s so easy today to ignore other people. We are busy with jobs, families, church, social media, hobbies, and a million other things. But if you pause long enough to really look and listen, you’ll see others who are struggling. I was heartbroken by Chris’s story of being surrounded by people in a psych ward who were, in his words, “forgotten.” No one should ever be forgotten.

2. Seek help if you are struggling. I’ve written publicly about my own battle with depression (links are in the Resources section below). I know what it’s like to be in a very dark place emotionally and mentally. Please—if you are struggling, call a friend, pastor, or counselor and get help. Your life is too valuable to throw away. 

3. Life is bigger than our “art.” Yes, this podcast is about creativity and making the best art we can. However, we are also part of a bigger community of humanity. This episode is about being aware of others’ pain. It’s about empathy, love, service, and our common humanity with each other. We need to slow down and pay attention to others. That is far more important than any single piece of art we ever create. Why? Because the most important art we create is the art of relationships with other people. You might be a great “artist,” but if you ignore the needs of the people right in front of you, you have missed the bigger picture.


Podcast Partners:

Looking for Christmas gift ideas? My book The Artist’s Suitcase: 26 Essentials for the Creative Journey is the perfect gift for the artist or creative person in your life (or even yourself!)

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | Google Play

For more great resources to help unleash your creative powers, visit my site at

Connect with me on social media: