Michelle Williams says when it comes to depression ‘churchy clichés do not work
Article By Rebecca Johnson // EEW Magazine // Mental Health
If you think Christian platitudes and generic encouragements will yank someone out of depression’s grip, a GRAMMY® Award-winning gospel and R&B singer, who personally battles depression, says you’re wrong.
“Your churchy clichés do NOT work when it comes to depression or other mental illnesses,” said Michelle Williams, 40, who sought inpatient treatment in 2018.
The member of the girl group, Destiny’s Child, who seeks to destigmatize conversations around mental health, offered her public service announcement via Twitter Thursday afternoon, Sep. 12.
“Stop telling people they’re not praying enough, or [not] praying the right things,” said the Christian songstress, adding, “Heck if that was the case, my prayer for your ignorance to vanish would have worked by now!”
Williams’ pointed commentary comes just two days after 30-year-old Jarrid Wilson, a mental health advocate and associate pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, CA, died by suicide—a tragedy Williams also addressed online.
“I just wanted to be able to yell ‘hold on a little while longer!’” she said on Instagram, telling the deceased, “I’m so sorry you couldn’t hold on anymore!!”
The faith community was rocked by news that Wilson, co-founder of Anthem of Hope, a mental health advocacy organization, had taken his own life after empowering so many others to continue their harrowing fight against mental illness.
In a post Monday, the day he died, Wilson wrote, “Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure suicidal thoughts. Loving Jesus doesn't always cure depression. Loving Jesus doesn't always cure PTSD. Loving Jesus doesn't always cure anxiety. But that doesn't mean Jesus doesn't offer us companionship and comfort. He ALWAYS does that."
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure suicidal thoughts.— Jarrid Wilson (@JarridWilson) September 9, 2019
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure depression.
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure PTSD.
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure anxiety.
But that doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t offer us companionship and comfort.
He ALWAYS does that.
Williams, who said she had been reading his old messages “from 2015 to not too long ago,” noted that he was “so supportive in people’s fight with mental illness and even more transparent” about his struggle.
The singer also addressed his widow, Julianne Wilson, and mother of the former couple’s two boys, saying, “You’ve been a sweet, loving and supportive woman and friend. I’m so sorry!”
For those that expressed concern about Williams’ own mental health state after reading her post, she clarified the purpose of her remarks in a follow-up tweet, saying, “This is in response to the passing away of someone who died by suicide this week. Thank you for your support and prayers but I’m good. Just bothered by insensitive responses that I’ve seen towards the situation!”
If you wold like to hear Williams discuss her personal mental health journey in her own words, press play on the video below: