On Sunday we are opening up a really really important discussion. We are discussing mental health.
This seems to be a discussion that the church is a little unwilling, or unsure about opening up, but it is an absolutely needed one. Because if we ignore this conversation we end up ignoring and excluding people who are struggling with mental health issues. And one thing Jesus never did – was ignore, exclude, or isolate people needing help, healing, and hope. And this is what we as a church need to be doing as well – giving people healing, help, and hope.
And even though the area of mental health is incredibly complex, it does mean there are areas where we as the church body can help.
John Swinton and Jean Vanier write this:
The church has a history of pioneering in health and social care and I believe it is time for us to step up to the challenge of working in the area of mental health. The beginning point for the church’s ministry alongside people with mental illness is the recognition of the power of graceful love. In a special way people with mental illnesses need to hear, see and feel the message of the love, acceptance and graceful forgiveness of Jesus.
I believe this is true, and this is what we are going to seek to do over the next few weeks. On Sunday I’m going to be sharing about mental health, and specifically some of the myths found in Christian circles. Then on the following Sunday we are going to have a panel of experts in the field share with how we can address some of the issues, and more importantly what we can do to help.
So I hope you join with us, because this is one conversation everyone needs to be part of.
2 thoughts on “Mental Health in Church”
My name is Wayne Paddick and I go to Wilmot Centre and am a Mental Health Nurse working with the homeless in Cambridge with the Candia Mental Health Association. I have spoken to our youth groups both Jr and Sr and bout mental health and it’s such an important discussion to start in the church. I have tried to set up some mental health sessions during our Wednesday Life Group sessions and important doesn’t seem like we are ready.
I am also presenting at Greg MacIntyre ‘ s mother church in April on the topic so we can better arm our leaders and parents for recognizing signs of mental illness and how we respond appropriately.
Good luck with your series and I would be interested in a podcast or cd or your sessions. I might try and get out next Sunday when you have your panel so I can learn from others
Hi Wayne – that’s really important work that your doing then! And its great to be actually bringing that topic up especially with youth and hopefully more as well. I hope the presentation goes well in April as more discussion and awareness is always a good thing. I’m actually lucky that my mom is the Clinical Director of Mental Health at Grand River, so she and some of her colleagues were willing to share next week – which I’m looking forward to. If you can make it out on Sunday great, if not it’ll all be podcasted here: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/plattsville-podcasts/id970110689?mt=2 have a great day!