57% of adults without mental illness believe that people are caring and sympathetic to persons with mental illness.  Only 25% of adults living with mental illness agree.

A 2014 study on mental illness found that church-going families deal with a large amount of shame and social stigma around their mental illnesses.

66% of church-goers surveyed in 2014 said that, within their own faith community, sermons or large group messages about mental illness happen less than once a year, if ever.

Families have struggles of all shapes and sizes.  Mental illness is just one of them.

The stigma associated with mental health issues and the ostracism and abuse of the mentally ill are inconsistent with a Christian worldview.  Christ calls all believers to seek after the one in their midst who is lost or hurting or alone.  No one in our culture is more alone and hurting than people who struggle with mental illness.  In many instances, the person struggling with mental illness is incapable of reaching out for the help he or she needs.

Scientific progress in recent decades now provides ample evidence that much of mental illness has a genetic or physical basis.  With love, patience and care, the mentally ill and their families can be brought fully into the body of Christ.  There the unique gifts and contributions of every person will make His Body function as He originally intended, where no one is shunned because of imperfect mental health.

Every church needs a plan on how to help those with mental illness in their midst.

Catherine Boyle

Catherine Boyle

President and Founder

Outside In Ministries’ founder, Catherine Boyle, has been impacted by mental health issues her entire life.  Several generations of extended family members – including Catherine – have struggled with various mental health diagnoses.  In a quest to understand her own experience with anorexia, bulimia and associated anxiety and depression, Catherine wrote Hungry Souls: What the Bible Says About Eating Disorder, and helped launch a ministry home for women with eating disorders.  Recently, Catherine became troubled by the emotional and spiritual abuse of individuals with mental health issues, as well as the accompanying social ostracism.    After much research and prayer, Catherine founded Outside In Ministries.

Catherine graduated from James Madison University with a BBA in Accounting, and earned an MBA from Virginia Commonwealth University.  Professionally, Catherine served in various capacities as an executive at a large southeastern U.S. bank.  As a volunteer, Catherine has led women’s ministry, worked to establish a church preschool and chaired the preschool Board.  Catherine served as Chief Operating Officer and Board President of Northfield Ministries.  Catherine has been featured on radio and television, such as the Harvest Show and Insight (Canada) and been interviewed for publications as diverse as the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association online magazine and Money Magazine.