This week (8th – 14th May) is Mental Health Awareness Week. Mental Health is very much in focus at the moment and even Princes William and Harry have joined the media campaigns to raise awareness. This week I listened to a sermon by Kay Warren entitled The Church and Mental Health. You can click on this link to view it in it’s entirety if you wish. There is an introduction first of all and then at about 19 minutes into the talk Kay focusses on the following points about how Church can and should help those with mental health issues of which statistics tell us that one in six people will suffer from anxiety or depression at some point in their lives. Shockingly high! How should churches begin to help and support these people? She gives an acronym for C.H.U.R.C.H.

  • Care and support for people who are mentally ill
  • Help with practical needs
  • Unleash the volunteers to help
  • Remove the stigma
  • Collaborate with the community support already offered
  • Hope – no-one can offer hope like the church of Jesus Christ
Hosea 2:15 says “I will transform the valley of trouble (Achor) into a gateway of hope”.
If you want to read a really interesting article on the L.I.C.C. website called “Surviving or Thriving” which is the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness week, then click here.
At Encounter Church we have been working with the Independence Trust and hosting a group that looks at mental health wellbeing. This week the group met to look at how they can continue to support each other now that the course has finished. The new group will be open to all, not just those who completed the course. If you, or you know someone who is struggling with this then please consider coming or bringing someone along. It commences on Friday May 26th and runs every two weeks from 1-2:30pm in the church cafe.