The Gospel tells the story of Jesus curing a man who was possessed by a demon, but the scholars tell us that in Biblical times all people with mental disorders were thought to be possessed by demons. If that is true, then Jesus actually helped many people who were suffering from mental disorders.
Since our calling to be Christians obliges us to carry on the work of Jesus, as Christians we are duty-bound to help people overcome the hardships of mental disorders.
The main thing we can do for troubled people is to get them professional help. Often mental disorders result from chemical imbalances that can be controlled by the proper medication.
But it also helps to get such people out of themselves. Solitary prison confinement often leaves people psychotic, while carrying on friendly conversations helps them back to normalcy. Many of the street people are Schizophrenic. I suppose that condition led to them becoming street people. I have a niece, a trained therapist, who has worked with mentally disturbed street people for forty years. The twenty-five clients Joan treats on a regular basis have become her family.
I have heard that Schizophrenia sometimes comes on healthy young men in their late teens, and I once read an account by a young lady whose beloved brother went that way. Sometimes the memory of a possible sister’s pain leads me to be kind to such a boy for the sake of a sister he might have somewhere.
One of those people who talks to himself was a regular at our church, and I used to pay him a dollar apiece for weird crayon pictures he drew. When one of our ladies complained about him being around I said, “He doesn’t do any harm.” That had her coming back with, “But, Father, does he do any good?” That was years ago, but for some reason it has stuck in my memory.