In June 2011, shortly after finishing his first year of seminary, David admitted himself into a psychiatric unit in Washington, DC. Christ on the Psych Ward is a book that emerges from this experience. The book weaves together three threads: personal narrative about David's time in and out of psychiatric hospitalization in 2011, theological reflections from the standpoint of mental illness, and practical guidance for communities of faith discerning how to be in faithful ministry alongside people with mental health struggles.
Read an excerpt here.
Praise for Christ on the Psych Ward
"This is a powerful, much-needed book about mental health and faith. Filled with engaging storytelling, thoughtful theological reflection, and challenging questions. Filled with wisdom and insight mined from the author's personal struggle and recovery, we are the beneficiaries of this generous, authentic, and in-depth account of the power of hope in Christ to carry us through our deepest struggles. This is a book to share with everyone you know."
-- Sarah Griffith Lund, author of Blessed are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Family, and Church
"David Finnegan-Hosey tells a brave and honest story of his experience wrestling through mental illness and faith. As he charts a personal journey toward healing, David offers readers a valuable resource for their own health and wellbeing. This book will be a trusted companion and welcome encouragement for all who long to be made whole."
-- Michael S. Koppel, Howard Chandler Robbins Professor of Pastoral Theology and Congregational Care, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC
"The issue of theology as it relates to mental health is crucial for the faithful care of the Body of Christ. And yet, there are precious few serious theological reflections on this vital aspect of human experience. David Finnegan-Hosey’s book, Christ on the Psych Ward, is one of the few. The book is deeply personal, often moving and always thoroughly and consistently theological. For anyone who desires to find insight into what it feels like to live with a mental health challenge and to live well with God, this book will both enlighten and give privileged access to aspects of human experience that are often misunderstood, ignored or undervalued. This book is a gem."
-- Rev. Professor John Swinton, Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care, School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, University of Aberdeen, Scotland UK
"This well-written and insightful book offers the Church a model for how to realistically talk about the spiritual dimensions of mental illness. In this book you will find profound personal stories alongside solid theological reflection that will equip us to serve people with mental health struggles. David Finnegan-Hosey does not offer pious platitudes or easy answers but authentic Christian hope in the face of illnesses that affect nearly every Church, family, and organization today."
-- Rev. David W. Peters, author of Post-Traumatic God: How the Church Cares for People Who Have Been to Hell and Back
"In Christ on the Psych Ward, David Finnegan-Hosey does something the Church has had difficulty doing regarding mental illness; he opens up the blinds and he lets the light in. David's story is compelling, his voice clear, his insight profound, and his subject matter critical. A book like this is long overdue, both in and outside the Church. It will save lives."
-- John Pavlovitz, author of A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community