Mental Health Awareness

leedsteam · May 20, 2018


Stress

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation. This year’s theme is about stress. The Foundation states that “Research has shown that two thirds of us experience a mental health problem in our lifetimes, and stress is a key factor in this.”

It would be wrong as a Church not to address the importance of mental health, and in particular, stress.

How do we reconcile Jesus saying “I have come that they have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10) and “Do not worry about your life” (Matthew 6:25-34) while experiencing ill mental health, including stress?

How can we get help and also help others effectively?

God is powerful and can heal in an instant, but sometimes we need to go through a journey to physical healing. It is the same with the healing of our minds.  When Jesus left the earth he said, “Surely I am with you always, even until the end of the age.”

He is with us in the journey to help us navigate the troubles we face, to teach us, to love us. That is a great promise. As we, the Church, mirror Christ, we also stand with you, pray for you and help you practically through whatever you are facing.

Mental health is not a taboo subject. There is no shame in asking for help and admitting that you are struggling with mental health problems. Firstly, God loves you just as you are, and secondly, He can still use you if you are struggling with anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, stress – whatever it may be.

Just look to the Bible at the prophets who God chose to fulfil his purposes on the earth. Despite their struggles and their insecurities, God saw them and used them.

Your greatest trial can be your greatest testimony.

 

God wants to use you too to fulfil His purposes on the earth. Here are five things to think about to mark Mental Health Awareness Week:

  1. Ask for help – If you think you are suffering from any form of mental health problem, ask for help. There is no shame in admitting you need to speak to someone. Prayer coupled with action is powerful and asking for help is taking that first step.
  2. Faith without works is dead – This quote comes from James 2:14-26 and highlights the power of doing something rather than simply having faith. In other words, what do you have faith for? If someone tells you they are experiencing mental health problems, practical steps are just as important as prayer. Offer your support and recommend that together you get in touch with someone qualified such as a GP or a counsellor.
  3. You are never alone – Poor mental health can make us feel ashamed and alone. The reality is that two thirds of us suffer from some form of mental health problem, and the more we talk about it and are honest, the easier it becomes for people to get the help they need.
  4. Healing is not always instant – Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. That is both physical and mental healing. Rather than just waiting, what steps can you take to improve your situation? This may be different for everyone. Do you need to spend more time resting? Do you need to exercise and get more fresh air? Maybe a new hobby and to be more sociable? Do you need “me time” to de-stress? Do you need to speak to a doctor or a therapist?  Talk it out with God and others, and together we can do something to improve your situation.
  5. Be transformed by the renewal of your mind – As Christians, we can rely on the promises of God. We can have hope even in the darkest days. Mental health problems can make us feel like we will never change and things will never improve. If you feel this way, look to Romans 12:2 and let the Holy Spirit give you hope that your mind can be renewed.

Look after yourself and others, and most importantly let Jesus look after you as He wraps you in His loving arms and leads you on a journey to healing and wholeness.

This blog was posted by leedsteam on May 20, 2018