058: Addressing Missionary Health Issues

553_10151862718092814_471509790_n 11036673_916796835027581_3679190321686993095_nNatasha Helfer Parker interviews Drew Botcherby and Ryan Freeman who developed the Sick RMs website to address the emotional, psychological and educational needs of members of the LDS Church who deal with physical and mental health issues before, during and after their missions.  Every year, over 1,100 missionaries return home early for a medical reason. Hundreds more serve two years but still deal with injuries and illnesses that went unresolved during their missions. The goals of the website include increasing education surrounding these issues, provide a support network, decrease stigmas and bias, increase education and training of ward/stake leaders, mission presidents and their wives (who are often in charge of managing missionary health), and encourage better screening, diagnosis and treatment during missions.  If you’d like to share your own personal missionary experience the Sick RMs website wants to hear from you.  Also feel free to make comments below.

Both Ryan and Drew grew up in Springville, Utah, are returned missionaries and currently attend Brigham Young University-Provo.

Sick RM’s: An Open Discussion about Missionary Health Issues

Guilt, Pain, Help and Home – When Mormon Missionaries Come Home Early

Many Mormon Missionaries Who Return Home Early Feel Some Failure

UVU Reports on the Reasons for and Reactions to Early Returned Missionaries

Dr. Kris Doty – Researching LDS Culture

Many thanks to The Lower Lights for the beautiful bumper music and to Brian Dillman for audio production of this podcast.  Natasha Helfer Parker runs a private practice in Wichita, KS and writes at The Mormon Therapist for Patheos: Hosting the Conversation of Faith.

Donations to Mormon Mental Health are tax deductible and go directly to support the costs of producing the podcast.  If and when donations exceed these costs, they will go to support trainings, research, materials development, projects of the Mormon Mental Health Association and financial support for those who need help affording appropriate therapy services.

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