Get Involved

Do you have a mood disorder? Would you like to help others with problems like yours? Are you a church leader interested in supporting a Living Room group? If you are interested in starting a peer support group as an outreach ministry for your church, we have the tools and resources to help you get started.

What are mood disorders?

Mood disorders are common conditions, including depression, anxiety and bipolar disorders. They are believed to be caused by a chemical imbalance. Having a mood disorder is not a character flaw; anyone can be affected by it. Most people who seek treatment get better and can live productive lives.

  • Clinical depression is a serious, debilitating illness that affects how you feel, think and behave. No amount of "pulling up your sock" will lift the darkness.
  • Individuals with anxiety disorder have excessive and unrealistic feelings that interfere with their lives.
  • People with bipolar disorder live with a roller coaster of emotions, with wild high moods and devastating lows—and with everything in between.

For more detailed descriptions check www.mooddisorderscanada.ca

Why is faith-based support important?
  • One family in five is affected by mental illness. Christians are not exempt.
  • Discussing faith in secular support groups can feel awkward.
  • Because of stigma, Christians often fear discussing their mental health issues in other church groups.
  • Living Room gives spiritual support with a better understanding of the issues than many other church friends can provide.
  • Trusting in God is an important factor in peoples ability to cope with emotional problems.
  • Sharing emotional and spiritual battles with fellow believers is comforting.
  • The message of God's immeasurable love is a powerful healer.
How can participants benefit?
Living Room provides many benefits to participants:
  • Prayer for each individual
  • Study of scripture to help them deal with their mood disorders
  • Healing through sharing their troubles with people who understand
  • A place to shed feelings of guilt and shame by no longer having to keep their mental health problems secret
How can the church benefit?
When a church sponsors a group such as Living Room, the church benefits in return:
  • The church responds to Christ's call to love and help people in need.
  • It helps people who are often shunned in the community.
  • It helps break down the stigma of mental illness by promoting prayer and support for participants.
  • It helps make mental illness an acceptable topic of conversation, encouraging others to be open about their struggles and search out treatment and support.
  • It gives members of the congregation opportunities to gain a better understanding of mental health issues.
Why partner with a mood disorders organization?
Partnering with a mental health organization, preferably one dealing with mood disorders, is important:
  • The mental health organization will have resources and information readily available for your use and your members' use.
  • It will help you learn about the current medical understanding of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorders.
  • It will be a valuable source of support for your facilitators and all members of your Living Room group.
  • It will support people with mood disorders.
  • It will help make people aware of the spiritual option of support Living Room provides.
  • It will train your facilitators.
  • It will occasionally provide speakers for your meetings.
  • It will lend credibility to your Living Room group.
How can you start a group?

If you have a mood disorder and want to start your own group:

  • Talk to your pastor and alert him/her to this website. You will need your church’s support.
  • "Creating Living Room", a manual to help you get your own group started, and "Facilitating Living Room", a leader's guide, are now available to download. You may also order in hard copy. The cost for the pair, including shipping and handling is $9.50 within Canada; $11.00 to the U.S. To order, email your request with your name and address to marja@livingroomsupport.org. An invoice, payable upon receipt, will be included with your shipment.
  • Contact a mood disorder organization in your area for support. Go to Resource page for information on these.

If you are a church leader and would like to have a Living Room group in your church:

  • Learn about mood disorders from the organizations listed on the Resource page.
  • Encourage members of your congregation who have mood disorders to start a group.
What devotionals could you present at meetings?

The following interactive devotionals are examples of what you could do at meetings and may be downloaded free of charge.