I’m aware that for some, the prospect of coming on Saturday morning to Talking about mental health is very daunting because of mental health issues. I’m aware that for others giving up a Saturday morning feels like a big cost / logistical headache. Here are answers to 6 reservations to help persuade you how important this time is for us all:
“But I’ve never had an issue with my mental health”
This morning is not just for those who have or are experiencing mental illness themselves – it is for those who walk alongside them as well. 1 in 4 adults will experience a mental illness at some point each year – even if that’s not you, assuming you now more than 4 people, it’s highly likely that someone you know and love will experience a mental health problem this year. Coming on Saturday will help you help them spot that and walk alongside them.
“I’m nervous I might have to talk about my mental health with others”
Please be assured that no one will have to share anything they don’t want to share. There will be a bit of time to discuss in groups to help us process what we’re hearing, but everyone is free to stay quiet or to take a strategic toilet break at that point. If that is still too daunting, please feel free to sit on the balcony.
“Mental health is something you talk to doctors about, not the church”
Absolutely, there is much excellent medical advice and help from doctors, counsellors and organisations. But the danger is if we don’t think about what God has to say on this issue, we’ll have mental health as an area of our lives that we assume he doesn’t know about, care about or do anything about. But he is our Father which means he does know, he does care and he speaks to us in the face of mental health. So let’s listen to him, as well as the doctor.
“I’m under 18!”
Ok, I realise the prospect of spending a Saturday morning with a whole bunch of adults is not high up on the priorities list. But I’m guessing that you’re all too aware of the extent of mental illness amongst your peers at school and in your own life. Sarah, the speaker, has done something similar to this session with youth before and has spent a lot of time with young people walking through mental health. It’ll be worth just one Saturday morning for your sake and your friends’ sake.
“But I’m not a Christian, and I’m not sure I trust Jesus with my mental health”
Ok, you’re right, the morning will be hearing what Jesus has to say on this. Here is a man who experienced the full range of human emotions. Why not come and hear if he has anything to say that fits with your experience of mental health and then weigh up if he has credibility?
“I’ve never met the speaker”
Most of us haven’t! But some of us have and trust her with this. Met Sarah by video here. And we’ll also have Ed Shaw (ECC), Mike Cain (EW) and Claire Darley (EW) on the question panel, with interviews with Ed Watson (EW), Jo Stacey (EB) and Mike Cain (EW). So there will be familiar faces too, and church family around us to carry on conversations with afterwards.
Please sign up here. You can just come on the day, but if you sign up we’ll know how many handouts to print and how much tea and coffee to have ready at 10.45!