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Mental Health & the Church Part II with Michelle Kixmiller and Gracey Lichtenstein

Welcome back to Consider Yourself Hugged! Click here to listen to Episode 126. OR click YouTube below to watch! (***Disclaimer: I provide these notes as a skeleton for the show - nothing fancy 😄)

I've said it a million times: It's time for a mental health revolution! And I mean that for the church too. Today, my dear friends Michelle Kixmiller (my former co-host) and Gracey Lichtenstein discuss part 2 of issues around the mental health conversation in the church today. Find the highlights, promised links, and bios on Michelle and Gracey below.


Regarding Words of Wisdom Article:

  • Is suicide an option only if you give up on God?

  • If I’m struggling due to inadequate brain chemicals, trauma, victim of abuse do I need forgiveness?

  • The mindset of a suicidal person

  • When church members give advice, they probably truly believe it’s helpful, but maybe they don’t understand

  • Do suicidal people give up on God?

  • Until people feel safe to tell their stories – their real stories – people are still going to be going around with the illusion of it’s not real because it doesn’t happen to me or anybody I know.

  • We need to create safety for vulnerability so people can tell their stories without fear.

  • Be a bridge for someone who is suffering: listen with non-judgement ear, provide resources

Inspiration From a Woman Who Suffers:

  • Gosh, truth told. Just personally. It’s hard for me to talk about mental illness almost anywhere and trust the listener to even try to understand or trust they won’t have automatic bias or make assumptions that are just not accurate.

  • For folks who haven’t experienced that; then I’m not sure those outsiders can truly understand it in compassionate that haven’t helped another struggling soul find a path back to wellness.

  • In that rambling, maybe you can hear my heart. It really is hard to talk about, yet it is a topic that needs us to be brave enough to speak up about.

Other Thoughts:

  • Is it judging to say people shouldn’t sit in it?

  • You can approach something with love or with judgement.

  • You never hear: Oh, they just want to sit in that cancer!

  • The perception of can’t vs won’t.

  • Cancer vs obesity vs diabetes vs mental health – a spectrum?

  • Biblical vs unbiblical medication?

  • Are beliefs on medication a gauge on how you feel about mental health?

  • Is taking medication a lack of faith or cheating?

Final Thoughts from Each of Us:

  • Grace: Listen, love & talk

  • Michelle: Approach with love, listen, understand God doesn’t always have the same path for everyone. Just because yours is different doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

  • Tami: Err on the side of love & compassion, especially if someone is struggling. My job isn’t to judge, it’s to love & do the best I can to help them.

Important Links:

Michelle Kixmiller, MSN, MAE, RN, APN, PMHNP-BC Michelle Kixmiller is a Board Certified

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Licensed Educator. She works with children and adults with mental health needs including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, ADHD, autism, schizophrenia, and obsessive compulsive disorder. Michelle served as a public school teacher and science department chair for over a decade when a family tragedy pulled her in a different direction. The death of her younger brother after a multiple year battle with depression and alcoholism led her to pursue a career in the mental health field. She went back to school to become a registered nurse graduating and gaining experience as a critical care nurse at a level 1 regional burn center prior to completing a graduate degree to become a mental health nurse practitioner. Her vision is holistic care through teamwork to create a more peaceful school environment for students and staff alike. No one should have to struggle alone. Michelle currently works full time for a non-profit community mental health center at an outpatient clinic and works PRN for an inpatient crisis stabilization unit. When not at work she loves spending time with family, traveling, watching movies (not scary ones), running (slowly), and Crossfit. Contact Michelle at Silver Lining Psychiatric Solutions, 615-378-7713 or

Grace Lichtenstein, MS is award-winning international speaker/trainer, coach, and a huge fan of all things nap-related. For the last 20 years, I have been working with individuals and corporate teams to improve their health, become more productive, and reduce their stress. Through my training in both Western and Eastern wellness philosophies (including an MS in Counseling Psychology), I truly has a comprehensive view of "what works". In addition, my diverse experience working with thousands of people in 49 states and in 2 foreign countries (ranging from native New Yorkers to Native Alaskans and from the FBI to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops), has allowed my to pinpoint some of the universal characteristics of successful individuals and teams. Contact Gracey at

Through my signature online programs or with one of my live training topics, I have the tools to help almost every individual and team reach their true potential. In addition, I am skilled at providing an exceptional learning experience based on client needs whether it be live onsite, webinar, a customized learning management system, email tutorials, or individualized life or executive coaching.

Thanks for joining today! As I’ve always asked in the past, please pass the show link along to your friends and subscribe, download, and review wherever you are listening. If you’re a woman and you haven’t joined our private FB group A Place for Women, please do that now! It’ll be your source of encouragement. You can also follow my public page, Tami West Seminars.

And until next time, Consider Yourself Hugged 😘🤗

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