image from www.christiansontheleft.org.uk
Mental Health Awareness week is 16th to 22nd May 2016 and I wanted to write a post about mental health that would encourage someone who maybe experiencing mental health challenges, especially in the church setting.
I have been in church for over forty years and it is only in recent years that the church is becoming comfortable with discussing mental issues.
So many people suffer in silence in church because it is not discussed from the pulpit or the stigma of it is too much for them to bear in their community.
MIND (www.mind.org.uk) the organisation that offers support to sufferers and their family, lists reasons why people suffer from periods of poor mental health. They include:
The following factors could potentially trigger a period of poor mental health:
- childhood abuse, trauma, or neglect
- social isolation or loneliness
- experiencing discrimination and stigma
- the death of someone close to you
- severe or long-term stress
- unemployment or losing your job
- social disadvantage, poverty or debt
- homelessness or poor housing
- caring for a family member or friend
- a long-term physical health condition
- drug and alcohol misuse
- domestic violence or other abuse as an adult
- significant trauma as an adult, such as military combat, being involved in a serious accident or being the victim of a violent crime
- physical causes – for example, a head injury or a condition such as epilepsy can have an impact on behaviour and mood (it is important to rule out causes such as this before seeking further treatment for a mental health problem)
- genetic factors – researchers are currently investigating whether there might be a genetic cause of various mental health problems but there is no clear proof yet.
The first thing I want to encourage you with is that Jesus came to set you free. I love how Luke 4:18 reads in the Amplified bible.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me (the Messiah), Because He has anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent Me to announce release (pardon, forgiveness) to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed (downtrodden, bruised, crushed by tragedy),”
This dear heart is what Jesus has for you; this is what he died for, for you to be whole in your mind and body. He came to release you from the trappings and pain of your past.
If you need to seek professional help then please ensure that you do, but I just wanted to let you know that you are loved and appreciated and a new day awaits you. The best in life is ahead of you so please do not allow the pain of your past to keep you caged, isolated and alone. Jesus promised to never leave you nor forsake you, he promised to be with you always. Believe that with me today.
Father, right now I lift up to you anyone who is reading this blog post and is having mental health challenges. I pray restoration and healing for their mind and life. Father, minister to them in a unique and tangible way that they will know that you love and care about them. Touch them like only you can do Lord in Jesus name. AMEN
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