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JCN offers reviews and briefs of books, websites, and mobile apps as a service to our readers. We do not sell or profit financially from these resources. Prices quoted are the original publisher's price. Briefs are short synopses of the publisher's descriptions. Websites and apps were current and evaluated at the time of publication.




A Handbook for Pastors, Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors


By Karen Mason


233 pp., Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2014, $18.00, paperback.


BRIEF: What is the church's role in suicide prevention? Although we tend to view the work of suicide prevention as the task of professionals, the church can play a vital role. Studies show that religious faith is an important factor reducing the risk of suicide. Yet many pastors, chaplains, and pastoral counselors feel overwhelmed and unprepared to prevent suicides.

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In this practical handbook, psychologist Karen Mason equips ministry professionals to work with suicidal individuals. Integrating theology and psychology, she shows how pastoral caregivers can be agents of hope, teaching the significance of life, monitoring those at risk, and intervening when help is needed. Because church leaders are often present in people's lives in seasons of trouble and times of crisis, they can provide comfort in the midst of suffering and offer guidance for the future.


When church members struggle in the darkness, the darkness need not overcome them. Discover how you and your church can be proactive in caring for those at risk of self-harm.



By Carolyn Gersch, Nicole Heimgartner, Cherie Rebar, Laura Willis, editors


600 pp., Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, 2015, $49.99, softbound.


BRIEF: Part of the popular and award-winning Nursing Made Incredibly Easy series, this newly-updated edition clarifies the complexities of psychiatric nursing, providing an oasis of down-to-earth wisdom and guidance. Seasoned experts in psychiatric-mental health nursing present symptoms, causes, and diagnostic methods for more than 70 psychiatric disorders, based on the DSM-5, describing the latest in treatment approaches, psychopharmacology, and nursing interventions. Numerous helpful patient care tips are offered in a reader-friendly format and positive tone, interlaced with the series' trademark humor. This is an encouraging and insightful reference for students and nurses of all specialties and skill levels.

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A Memoir of Living Fully with Depression


By Gillian Marchenko


192 pp., Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, May 2016, $16.00, paperback.


BRIEF: "I stand on the edge of a cliff in my own bedroom." Marchenko continues her description of depression: "I must keep still. Otherwise, I will plunge to my death. 'Please God, take this away,' I pray when I can." For Gillian, "dealing with depression" means learning to accept and treat depression as a physical illness. In these pages, she describes her journey through various therapies and medications to find a way to live with depression. She faces down the guilt of a wife and mother of four, two with special needs. How can she care for her family when she can't even get out of bed?

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This book offers a hopeful realism for those suffering from depression, describes different therapeutic approaches the author experienced, and reflects the difficulty of parenting during a season of depression. Her story is real and raw, not one of quick fixes. But hope remains, as she discovers that living with depression is still life.




By Marilyn D. Harris, editor


890 pp., Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett, 2017 (available now), $108.95, softcover; Kindle $103.50.


REVIEW: Marilyn Harris is well known in home healthcare, as well as faith community nursing, from her numerous publications, presentations, and service for over 60 years. Marilyn served as the executive director of Abington Memorial Hospital Home Care in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania for 22 years, while nationally influencing and leading the development of home healthcare in the U.S.. She is known by her colleagues and friends as a nurse and administrator with a servant heart and quick mind.


Marilyn published the first edition of Handbook of Home Health Care Administration over 25 years ago. This 2017 6th edition Handbook brings together Marilyn's wisdom with the expertise of a multitude of home care experts, covering everything you need to know about home healthcare. The 6th edition updates all of the chapters of the 5th edition, plus adds seven new chapters to address today's issues: Status of Home Health Care: 2015 and Beyond; The Roles of and Competency Requirements for Paraprofessionals; Disaster Preparedness; Pediatric Home Care; Beyond Medicare-Certified Home Health Services-An Overview of Other Types of Home Care Services; Expanding Your Performance Improvement Program-Using Process and Other Measures to Improve Care; and ADRs, CERTs, RACs, SMRCs, ZPICs, and Other External Audits. There are 65 reader-friendly chapters with figures, tables, and exhibits with helpful exemplars. I appreciate that Harris acknowledges the practice of faith community nursing (FCN) and includes a chapter about home healthcare partnering with FCNs for patient healing.


Harris's book is an exhaustive encyclopedia of home healthcare in one volume, covering everything from finances to regulations to marketing to current technologies. This is the go-to resource for administrators and practitioners, as well as an excellent teaching tool for educators. I love the fact that the book is available electronically. Harris takes a complex area of practice and breaks it down into digestible pieces of invaluable information. This 6th edition Handbook is well worth the cost for anyone involved in or interested in home healthcare.-KSS


Going Deeper

Going Deeper helps you dig deeper into JCN content, offering ideas for personal or group study-great for Nurses Christian Fellowship groups!


* Teen Depression and Suicide: A Silent Crisis: Read Kroning and Kroning, pp. 78-86.


1. What are some of the causes of depression?


2. Discuss symptoms of depression. How have you observed these symptoms in patients or others? How would you decide if someone might be clinically depressed?


3. Compared to adults, what are a few ways depression presents differently in children and adolescents?


4. Familiarize yourself with the signs of youth suicide, as offered in the article.


5. Have you interacted or cared for a suicidal patient or friend? What would have been helpful to have known at the time?


6. Read Psalm 6. What signs of depression might the author be expressing?


* Employee Spiritual Care: Read McMillan, pp. 98-101.


1. What are specific stressors you experience at work?


2. How or to what degree does the administration where you work support employee care?


3. Who can you count on for encouragement and spiritual support at work?


4. What steps might you take to envision an employee spiritual care program?


5. Reflect on 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24. Share an insight based on this verse.


* Faith-Based Organizations for Service-Learning: Read Fountain et al., pp. 102-107.


1. According to the National and Community Service Act (Office of Management and Budget, 1999), define service-learning (SL).


2. Based on the article, list some barriers and benefits of SL.


3. The authors state, "Nursing stresses that the client is the center of the nurse/client relationship. Therefore, the client's faith perspective must guide nurse/client interactions." Discuss.


4. How does 1 Peter 3:15-16 guide you in discussing faith in nurse/client interactions?