Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Today is World Mental Health day

Human beings are a wonder - so adaptable and resilient, yet so intricately complex and fragile.

It's this combination that makes each person unique- a one off, never to be repeated miracle.

I don't think we see each other that way often enough. I worry, that in today's busy, hectic rush, we don't see each other at all.

Today is World Mental Health Day, and I hope we will use this day to see each other, to listen and learn.

A lot of what I get to do in my work is listen to people. One thing that resonates is the comment from so many sufferers of mental illness that they feel invisible and silenced. "How do I begin to explain my mental illness? The hardest bit is telling others – folk can see a broken leg but they can’t see inside your head." 

One in four adults in the UK suffers from a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year.

I believe we have to work to end the stigma around mental illness.  The burden which must be carried by those affected by mental health problems, and those who care for them, is not only heavy, but can be life- long.

How we, as church, as friends and family, support each other is at the heart of a culture of positive relationships that we seek to foster.

Our churches should surely be places where everybody can be sure of having someone to listen, somebody who cares and values each and every man, woman and child. The presence of the church as a community of people who care and who can simply ‘be there’ can be very important in times of need.

At parish level, individual and congregational prayer is powerful.  Support from pastoral care teams can provide invaluable ministry, promoting self esteem and a sense that a person’s and family’s journey and burden are shared.

The Church of Scotland’s General Assembly received a report on mental health in 2011

You can explore these issues further by using this Bible Study.


  1. People should be more aware of mental health problems. We are all facing them from time to time. Nice post!

  2. In the past, many people have found that the last place where people listen is the church. We tend to be better at telling people what (we think) they need than asking them. Of course people mean well. That, to me, is not in dispute. However, people who have mental health problems often do not "conform" and the one thing the church loves is when people do conform and play by "the rules".


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