Emily Lopex has a passion for three things: Jesus, Churches and Mental Health. When this blog first started, it was just about sharing stories.
How do we become more Jesus?
An even more important question is: How do we become more like Jesus when a mental illness gets in the way?
This is the question that ran through Emily’s mind.
She had grown up with two parents who both had serious mental illness. She had watched them struggle, survive, navigate services, engage with the church and go through crisis.
Through her experiences, she found a passion for helping people in crisis. From working with sexual assault survivors to refugees to individuals with disabilities, Emily gained the knowledge and experience to understand how to serve people living with mental illness. For 13 years, she learned and worked as an advocate for people in crisis. She was a trainer, facilitator, program manager, advocate and coordinator.
She thought she knew it all.
Until she went through her own experience.
The experience itself is detailed on this blog but the reality is that it woke her up to a prevalent problem in the church.
People were being asked to leave in the midst of their crisis.
Emily met other people who had stories similar to hers. The difference was that Emily kept going to church, even if it wasn’t the church she was initially going to, while others stopped going all together.
They were afraid.
They were ashamed.
They felt like they were the problem.
As an advocate, Emily couldn’t back down. She wanted to impact the church in such a way that they could not only welcome people living with mental illness but be equipped to do so.
Thus, Daring Mercy became more than just a blog. It became a nonprofit geared towards changing the conversation on mental illness and the church.