RENEWAL is designed to offer hope and comfort to people suffering from mental health disorders or addiction disorders, and support to the people who love them. Our approach is based on respect for the dignity of the people we serve and the belief that through a faith-based program, life-changing results are possible.

RENEWAL: Christian Treatment and Recovery is an optional treatment supplement available through Brookhaven Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At Brookhaven, we understand that when you are suffering from an eating disorder, a personality disorder, a behavioral health disorder or chemical dependency, life can seem utterly hopeless. It can cause Christians to feel abandoned and distant from God. However, by strengthening your spirituality, in conjunction with our professional medical services, you can experience results that you never thought were possible.

RENEWAL is based on the belief in:

God who created us and loves us (Genesis 1:26)
Jesus Christ who redeems us (Isaiah 53:5)
The Holy Spirit who guides us (Acts 1:8)

When you participate in RENEWAL, you’re part of something much bigger than yourself. Brookhaven clients receive expert care from our team of mental professionals. Treatment is solution-focused and success-oriented. Our goal is to minimize symptoms, help individuals address life problems and live fulfilling lives. Sometimes healing requires a helping hand. We’re here to provide the guidance and support you need to recover.

Christian Care
The RENEWAL program at Brookhaven Hospital incorporates your faith into the recovery process in order to address your physical, mental and spiritual needs

Christian Drug Rehab
Our program provides a nurturing atmosphere that allows you to sober up and strengthen your bond with God.

Christian Bulimia Treatment
Individuals with bulimia alternate between compulsive binge eating and purging. Without treatment bulimia can be deadly. Brookhaven’s RENEWAL program can offer medical, psychological and faith-based eating disorder treatments.

PTSD Treatment
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs after a traumatic event. Without getting proper help it can be debilitating. Strengthening your faith can help you confront the past and form a brighter future.

Christian Healing
When you are part of the RENEWAL program, you are part of something bigger than yourself. You are part of a support system based on professional medical care as well as spiritual guidance.

Compulsive Overeating
When you suffer from compulsive overeating disorder, your meals and your life can seem out of control. Take a faith-based approach to your eating disorder treatment at RENEWAL.

Anorexia Treatment
Anorexia is characterized by the restriction of food intake and the refusal to maintain a healthy body weight. Without getting help, anorexia can be life-threatening.

Bipolar Disorder Treatment
Everyone experiences ups and downs, but when you’re suffering from bipolar disorder life can seem out of control. Brookhaven’s RENEWAL program incorporates your spirituality into an advanced behavioral health program.

OCD Treatment
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can fill your life with uncontrollable thoughts (obsessions) and rituals (compulsions) and stand in the way of relationships and your career.

How Do Christians Understand Mental Illness?


the-renewal-program-at-brookhavenYou would think from most of the discussion about Christianity and mental health that most Bible-following people don’t believe in mental illness. We talk constantly about the stigma associated with it and tell stories of those who weren’t offered the appropriate support from their religious community, but the reality is more complex. There are certainly those who write off psychiatry and counseling, but there are also many who hold more biological understandings of mental illness.

The issue is, as Christian counselors or psychiatrists, we spend a lot of our time attempting to educate and connect with those who fail to see or understand mental health. But, it is important to distinguish that these people aren’t the entirety of the church or believers. According to Frank Viola, there are actually three common ways Christians understand mental illness, and understanding each perspective allows us to educate and connect with the non-believers of mental illness better.

  1. Mental illness originates from demonic influence or possession. Treatment is to cast out the demons and purify the afflicted. 
  2. Mental illness is psychobabble. “Mental disorders” don’t exist, but are the manifestation or punishment for sinful behaviors. Those with “mental illnesses” must repent and correct their sinful ways, as well as restoring their relationship with God.
  3. Mental illness is a psychological disorder related to physical biology. Mental illnesses are the result of chemical or protein imbalances within our brain, and mental illness is an expression of sickness in the same way hyperthyroidism or high blood pressure is.

Whichever you believe, the other options probably sound ridiculous to you. There is still a strong community that preach of demonic influence as the origin of mental illness, and it is easy to see that a fair number of people believe in the second perspective. But, more and more people are accepting the third viewpoint every day as they or someone in their life is affected by the reality of mental illness.

Interestingly, the first is the hardest to argue against, mostly because documentation of attempts to treat supposed demonic possession is almost entirely from unverified sources, and relies on faith entirely. But, it is easy to see from direct interaction with most mental health patients that literal demons aren’t involved.

The belief that mental illness is the manifestation of sin is a much more pressing issue within the church as I’ve seen numerous friends and family members espouse their understanding as fact and utterly write-off mental health concerns. However, this is the easiest issue to argue against. The belief that mental illness is the expression of sin relies on the idea that those with mental disorders are guilty or deserving of punishment. It also relies on the notion that these people do not have close relationships with God or scripture, or are sinning more than the average person.

Having known countless people who have struggled with mental illness, I can safely say the majority of them believed in God just as strongly as most members of the church, attempted to have an active relationship with the Lord, and are no more sinful than any of us. They are no more deserving than you or I. We all sin. You can’t tell someone to treat their distress by asking for forgiveness or sinning less. We all ask for forgiveness and are blessed. You certainly can’t stop sinning. So what are we to make of mental illness? Does God punish arbitrarily, striking seemingly innocent or good-hearted people stronger than others simply because they are sinners?

It would seem that isn’t the case, especially as many show warning signs of mental illness years before it truly develops. Instead, it makes sense that the majority of mental illnesses spring from biological issues. This can be confusing to observe for a number of reasons. Namely, those with mental illness are better at hiding their struggles with their disease than most of us are at hiding minor problems. Also, it is entirely possible that a fractured or strained relationship with the Lord can contribute to their struggle.

Mental illness may not originate from a pained personal relationship with God, but it is common for those already struggling to feel even more isolated or helpless as they are led to believe they’re problems are the result of not loving God enough. Rather than pulling those people back into the church, the sentiment pushes them away, telling them their love isn’t enough. This exponentially makes matters worse, as their support system is ripped away, and their self-worth further devalued.

To truly help those struggling with mental illness within the church, the last issue must be solved, and the only way to accomplish that is education about what mental illness is and what it looks like. The love of God can work wonders on healing a person’s heart, soul, and mind, but it rarely works as the only treatment. Instead, it should be offered as support, while God works through proper medication and counseling. That way, a person is able to strengthen their relationship with God, while he strengthens them.

Tags: , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply