October 10th is World Mental Health Day. Every year, the World Foundation for Mental Health chooses a relevant theme pertaining to the discussion on mental health. This year, the theme is Mental Health for All: Greater Investment – Greater Access. As we have been living through a global pandemic, an eroding economy erode, job losses, significant health crises and an abrupt forced isolation for many, the need for mental health initiatives that are accessible for everyone is greatly needed. Access to quality mental health care has been a significant issue for some time now, but as we live through a pandemic, the issue is reaching a critical point.
We need to ask ourselves, how can the church support the need for more access to care? Does this issue remain for government bodies to solve, or can we, the church, be a part of the solution?
One of the single most important steps in addressing the need for access to mental health care is creating a safe place where people feel comfortable talking about mental health challenges and finding connection with others. Let's Talk! Breaking the Silence around Mental Illness in Our Communities of Faith is a four-part series for small groups that was produced by Disability Concerns and Faith and Hope Ministries. The Leader’s Guide and Participant’s Guide provide the framework for leading a Small Group Bible Study on Mental Illness. No previous mental health training is necessary.
This year, consider making space for some very important conversations to happen around mental health within your small group. Whether in person or via zoom, these conversations could be the lifeline that someone in your church has needed to carry on.