‘Mormon Land’: Two former missionaries open up about their mental health challenges

They talk about how their parents, companions, therapists and mission presidents helped; how they were greeted when they came home; and share advice for current and future proselytizers.

Depression, attention-deficit disorder, anxiety, anorexia, insomnia, scrupulosity, obsessive-compulsive disorder and more. Like people from every walk of life, missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are not immune from mental health challenges.

In fact, the stresses of full-time proselytizing, with its high demands and high expectations, can exacerbate the unsettling symptoms and the sometimes-crippling complications.

As missionaries increasingly encounter mental health challenges, the church is increasingly responding — with better trained mission presidents, mission therapists and mission health councils.

On this week’s show, two former missionaries — Cora Longhurst, who served in the Philadelphia Mission, and Michael Skaggs, who labored in Las Vegas and on a service mission at church headquarters — share the struggles they endured during their stints, the help they received and how they are coping now.

Listen here: