Pastor Rick Warren has had a difficult month following the suicide of his son, Matthew. In a tweet sent on Thursday morning, the preacher made an announcement about a ministry he’s planning to launch in the wake of the untimely death.
While he didn’t go into detail, the information seems to indicate that mental illness will be a new area of focus for the famed faith leader.
In announcing Matthew’s death on April 6, Warren was candid that his 27-year-old son had faced many challenges in the past. Taking to Twitter this morning, the Saddleback Church leader and the author of “The Purpose Driven Life” wrote that the sale of Matthew’s home will help fund a new mental illness ministry.
“Sad task of removing Matthew’s stuff from his house,” he wrote (grammar/spelling kept in tact). “Every item is a memory, House sale will fund new Mental Illness Ministry.”
In his initial statement earlier this month detailing the death, Warren explained that his son had long battled mental issues.
“In spite of America’s best doctors, meds, counselors, and prayers for healing, the torture of mental illness never subsided,” the pastor wrote. “Today, after a fun evening together with Kay and me, in a momentary wave of despair at his home, he took his own life.”
The Los Angeles Times also notes that Warren and his wife, Kay, have launched a petition, urging lawmakers and the public to tackle mental illness more fervently. “The Mental Illness Awareness Petition” urges individuals to sign on and join the educational battle. It reads:
Kay and I have been overwhelmed by your outpouring of love since Matthew’s tragic death.
Matthew was just one of about 11.4 million American adults that suffered from severe mental illness in the past year. In fact, one in five Americans experiences some sort of mental illness.
Join Kay and I, and the Saddleback Family, in our effort to urge educators, lawmakers, healthcare professionals, and church congregations to raise the awareness and lower the stigma of mental illness… and support the families that deal with mental illness on a daily basis.
Warren also took to Twitter last week to forgive the individual who illegally sold Matthew a gun on the Internet.
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