My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Mercy Ministries Of America, Inc., Nashville, TN, USA
I graduated from Mercy Ministries in 2006.
The main reason why I do not and never will financially support Mercy Ministries is that they are completely unqualified to address mental illness, particularly eating disorders. My counselor was not trained in eating disorder treatment. I came to Mercy with an eating disorder. I was not treated for my eating disorder. It was lumped in with all of my other mental illnesses. They "monitored" my eating, and by monitor, I mean that untrained , unhealthy staff would look at our plates and decide if it looked good. We had a nutritionist during the day, but she would merely do plate checks - not meet with us, one on one, regarding healthy eating practices. If our nutritionist was trained in eating disorder treatment, she certainly did not practice it. I never met with her regarding my eating disorder. I entered with anorexia/bulimia, and left with an unhealthy BMI and no ability to consciously choose a healthy nutritional lifestyle.
I did experience 'exorcism' as part of the counseling program, though I heard they did away with that counseling program due to negative feedback. It is extremely disconcerting to me that they do not use clinically tested counseling practices.
Essentially, they believe that demons and the devil are the cause of all negativity and illness. So, they believe, it is not necessary to address the illness, one must simply address the devil. This is very harmful to many women who go through the program. The approach has NO medical foundation (which is actually something they seemed proud of, because they would tout the fact that God heals, not doctors. In actuality, God uses doctors to heal - but there is a reason doctors go to medical school and complete residency).
Most unsettling is that Mercy practiced "healing" for lesbian women while I was there. I was young at the time, and naive, so I did not fully understand the weight of this. Now, the thought of praying the gay away makes me sick to my stomach. I wish I could apologize for ever graduating from such an institution for this sole reason.
I am currently a graduate student, and have worked to come to a place of true mental and physical health after graduating Mercy. I am not an erratic, confused, or hateful Mercy graduate; however, I am concerned about the future of the program and I am ashamed to have "graduated" from Mercy.
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