Video: What ministering to people with leprosy taught Jane Clayson Johnson about depression


In a BYU-Pathway Worldwide devotional, Jane Clayson Johnson shares the importance of speaking up about struggles with mental ilness

On a recent trip to India, Jane Clayson Johnson had the opportunity to meet and serve individuals affected by leprosy.

In a devotional released Tuesday by BYU-Pathway Worldwide, Johnson shared how the experience taught her more about how the Savior ministers to the afflicted and how that can help people reach out to those who struggle with mental illness, as well as help those with mental illness have the courage to reach out.

“Jesus didn’t heal them by avoiding them,” Johnson said. “He waded right into the mess with His help and with His hope.”

Through her years of research for her book, Silent Souls Weeping, Johnson noted the importance of the healing that can come through sharing the stories of mental illness and breaking the silence frequently associated with it.

“Leprosy is a disease that cannot be hidden,” Johnson said. “People are literally, physically falling apart. Mental health needs to be like that. It needs to be dragged into the light of day where we can see that people are sometimes falling apart and where those who are willing to wade in and help can do so.”

She explained how talking about depression can bring help to those affected by it.

“Just like any other physical illness, mental illnesses require treatment, and you can’t get treatment if you remain silent,” Johnson said. “It is so important to talk about these challenges.”

Silent Souls Weeping

Through the power of story, nationally recognized journalist Jane Clayson Johnson shines a light on the desperate, dark, and lonely reality faced by those who struggle with clinical depression in her book, Silent Souls Weepingavailable now at Deseret Book stores and on

Hear more of Johnson's story on the "All In" podcast

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on in December 2019.

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