Whenever Mental Health is mentioned, people’s minds tends to rush to a predefined status of madness, troubled minds and “kolorism”.
Unfortunately, Mental Health issues goes beyond what our minds have conjured and coined as a status or classification. One of the biggest problems people face is an increase exclusion in their thoughts.
Every October 10th, the World celebrates the World Mental Health Awareness Day. A day set aside to highlight the importance of Mental Health Education to both young and old people in our Community.
Most Healthy people have the problems of not knowing what to do or who to talk to when they are feeling bad, down or simply depressed. These are periods when it increasingly becomes difficult to put to words what their inner beings are passing through.
They feel pressured and do not know how to put to words to those feelings that are welling up in the inside of them. There arises the problem of whom to go to, whom to seek for help, who can take out time from their busy schedules to lend a listening ear.
Young people are most vulnerable because of their inability to really understand what goes on in the inside of them. The physiological changes, psychological changes, academic pressures, family pressures, peer pressures etc. all combine to add more pressure to a young heart. Unfortunately, often times, we are too busy to even notice.
The stigma attached to Mental Health makes matters worse, as no one wants to be said to be having mental health issues, thus the difficulties that people of all ages have in finding who to trust and open up to during the time of their pressures and crises of the mind.
Mental Health and the Family
The Family is the first port of call for understanding of what young people and even the older generation are passing through. The Family is where the need to be open minded and cultivate a listening ear should begin.
The family is where we need to be trained to be able to recognise the warning signs of Mental Health issues as soon as possible, and try to lend a helping hand in not only responding to them with sympathy but with all the seriousness needed.
We need to create an environment where Mental Health Issues are seen as a natural part of growing up in young people, as this most often affects many young people deeply.
The Family unit needs to provide an atmosphere to enable anyone who feels pressured to feel free to talk about it and get the necessary help needed.
Mental Health and the Role of the Church.
The Church has a major role to play in the balancing the Mental Health of the believers. We know that Prayer is the key to everything, as prayer is a two-way communication between humans (mortals) and God, but then providing an enabling environment for anyone who is troubled and passing through Mental Health issues should be in the forefront of the Church main programs.
It is important to note that no troubled mind can praise God effectively and efficiently. The Church, which forms a wider family Circuit must make sure that it has trained people who can spot these behavioural changes early enough and direct people to Professional help.
It is not everything that goes on in the life of people that must be seen as Spiritual attack. Once the physical is given a listening ear, the Mental Health balance is achieved and all Glory goes to God.
Depression is not necessarily a spiritual attack. The Church should therefore help to put an end to the stigmatisation of Mental Health issues.
As we celebrate the Mental Health Awareness Week This Year, it is important to once again ask for your help to highlight the importance of Mental Health to both the old and young people.
To show the duty of care towards those who are young and troubled. We need to create an enabling environment where there is a will to listen to, and where there is real care available to anyone that truly needs it.
We as a people owe the duty of care to anyone who is young, old or otherwise, anyone who is troubled and do not know where to turn to for care and a listening ear.
October 7 is the National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding. We need you to pray along with the millions of people who are going through Mental Health Issues.
This post – My Mental Health is Your Business, is written as part of the October 2014 SynchroBlog: “Mental Illness Awareness, centring on “mental illness, family, and church””, and in honour of the commemoration of the launch of Sarah Griffith Lund’s new book — Blessed Are The Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Family, and Church — and to participate in National Mental Illness Awareness Week (Oct. 5-11).
A full list of participating blogs/websites for this month could be seen below:
- Sarah Griffith Lund – Stronger Together
- Liz Dyer – Finding the Courage to Break the Silence
- Stacy Sergent – No Longer Protecting Secrets
- Patricia Watson – Grace Amid Crazy
- Glenn Hager – When Mental Illness Strikes Home
- Crystal Rice – Looking Well on the Outside
- Cara Strickland – Making Peace With My Mental Illness
- Jeremy Myers – A True Foot Washing Service
- David Hosey – The church, the psych ward, and me
- Ona Marie – Mental Illness, Family, and Church
- Carol Kuniholm – A Prayer for the Broken
- Susan Herman – 3 Self Care Rituals for Managing Tough Transitions
- Eric Atcheson – Blessed Are The Crazy
- Joan Peacock – “Alice in Wonderland”, a Bipolar BookGroup Discussion Guide
- Justin Steckbauer – Mental Illness, Awareness, and Jesus
- Kathy Escobar – Mental Illness: 3 Sets of 3 Things
- Leah Sophia – Mental Illness/Health Awareness
- Josh Morgan – Peace Between Spirituality and Mental Health
- Tara Ulrich – Breaking the Silence
- Sarah Renfro – Blessed Are The Crazy
- Steve Hayes – Mental illness and the Christian faith
- Mindi Welton-Mitchell – Breaking the Silence: Disability, Mental Illness and the Church
- Michelle Torigian – A Life of Baby Steps
- Bec Cranford-Smith – Mental Health and the Pastor