In this bonus mini-episode we explore mental health in relation to discipleship for Mental Health Week. Josh and Ash briefly look at how those who face mental health difficulties can also face stigma not just in the world but also in the church and briefly discuss their own experiences with mental health. Mental health is something that we should all think about and in this podcast the following links are recommended:
Mind Charity: https://www.mind.org.uk
Stockport Christian Counselling: https://www.sccounselling.org
Hello, it’s lovely to see you in a different way as we we come to you from the vicarage, and we come to talk about an issue it’s on both are actually in his heart. The minute this week is Mental Health Week, isn’t it?
It is and what kind of want to invite you to discuss that with as well as
we kind of want to, you know, this podcast is called journeying faithfully, or faithfully journeying,
and we want you to come on that journey with us. And actually, mental health can be a really difficult conversation to have. It’s, it’s not one that’s often out in public. And we want you to be part of that conversation. We want to remove some of that stigma, in this very short video of mental health problems and issues and difficulties and challenges. And we want to offer some resources, maybe if you find yourself in a situation, that is difficult. One of the greatest resources we can offer as the US is the Bible. And the Bible talks a lot about peace doesn’t, it does it really does. Jesus’s ministry was based all around peace and giving peace. And in john, in chapter in john 16, Jesus says this, I have said these things to you, the enemy, you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world. In our last podcast, if you listen to it, we talked a little bit about Easter. And about Jesus overcoming some of our tribulations, didn’t we? We did.
And we look, we linked that to both our physical and our mental health. And that’s a little bit of the statistics, including the one where one in four will suffer from a mental health, illness or episode in every year.
And I’m still surprised by that. Because it’s such a large figure. yet we’re afraid to talk about it.
We are afraid to talk right? And we’re not just afraid to talk about it. We’re afraid to pray.
Yeah, we are. Not because the church has mistreated and misused prayer. Either in in our church, even in my church in norbury. I’ve seen examples where we have said things that have not been helpful to people who may be struggling with one thing or another thing we may have said, Well, how can you just prayed? And that can be a really unhelpful thing on it.
It can we get it wrong to like, we’re not perfect in any sense of the word. But we it’s simple things, isn’t it, we will quite happily pray for physical ailments will quite happily talk about them in a much easier sense than it is when it comes to mental health where that stigma still lies.
Definitely. And also, I think, sometimes we approach prayer with an expectation that there has to be an answer, or there have been answered that that looks like healing. Yes. And often that isn’t the case. Often the we need all the things to help just like we need to go to a doctor to receive physical healing. There were some times we need to go receive healing for for other issues as well and other crises as well. And I think that was kind of the stigma wields challenge, isn’t it?
Yeah. And I think it’s interesting, isn’t it because we understand or we’re getting better at understanding where we haven’t always got this right. But there is physical illnesses there always get healed. We expect this miraculous from the mental health and though actually understand that actually, it takes a lot of work and requires a lot of time to to work on those issues.
And often we see it as weakness, especially men. The word that is branded around often is toxic masculinity and it can be used for anything toxic masculinity, especially in the response to Sarah Everardo and what happened a few months ago, it can be seen content as as kind of a different thing but there is also a side to toxic masculinity that is about pride and ego and To not cry, and I listened to a podcast recently by Governor B, who is a rapper and a Christian artist. And he talks about in his recent book about grief and how grief affected him, and how he didn’t cry, actually, until a good few years after his dad died. And it was in that moment of crying that he realised that there is weakness, but that’s releasing emotions in a in a healthy way.
And it can be as a strength that you are able to mentally process what is happening, that we don’t accept a lot of the tailors as that actual strength.
Yeah, and that’s, so that’s kind of where we are, I think that’s conversation want to have. But I think we want to talk a little bit about our own experiences, because we both have very different experiences. When I was at university I trained became a Mental Health First Aid practitioner. And in one of the roles I performed within the university, I saw a lot of different students who were facing a whole stream of different problems and challenges. And often would encourage them to go and receive counselling, because it’s a really helpful thing to do. And I think you’ve had quite positive experiences, haven’t you with counselling?
I have, I think I was on the other end of that, I suppose. And in college, I had an amazing counsellor who helped me process a lot of the things that were happening in my own personal life, with my dad being ill, as well as coming to terms with who I am. But they haven’t always been positive counselling experiences. When I was in university, it wasn’t a positive. And so I think it is important to find the person that is right for you. But I also found, I came to faith, actually, in some of my darkest moments. Yeah. And I think that has been a massive importance in my life in changing, not changing who I am, but allowing me to become the person I was always meant to be.
And people may have seen and although imagine discussions well, but they may have seen us reflections on the Psalms that we did in Len. And we talked a lot about in our songs about lament, and actually how the psalmist really came to God with all of their emotions, both that praising God and the hilltops, but also their, their deep his moments of despair. And I think people were surprised that your faith almost grew out of despair rather than hope.
Yeah, it really did. I think I connected so deeply to those cries of lawmen that there was an outlet for it that I found somewhere that nowhere else in society nowhere else in culture was willing to go. Yet the Bible. Had it right there. They were willing to go there.
Yeah. Yeah. And that is what we want to encourage, really, from this mini podcast, this mini episode, is we want to encourage the conversation, we want to say that it is absolutely okay to talk about mental health, to talk about mental well being and to seek appropriate support when that’s needed. So actually, you got a resource that we were talking about earlier today, haven’t you that that you want to recommend to people
I want it? Well, there’s two there is obviously the NHS website. As a ex pharmacist, I am a big advocate for the NHS website. And there is also the charity mind, we will put the website in the show notes. So if you need to access that charity, you can do so. And you had something more local Yeah, stop. Oh, yeah.
So I need to I need to get up my notes for this because I can can’t remember all the details. But in 1989, Stockport Christian counselling services was out that’s a long time. And they offer pre trained professional counsellors for you to have conversation with. After they offer lots of support. They offer prayer support, they offer counselling support, and it can all be a free or a donation based system. We as no reject. I think in the past I’ve given donations to Stockport counselling service to support the work they do. And that really experience is as we come in to learn that’s what we want to encourage you to be able to begin the conversations
and not just with these professional services but with each other. And with your churches if you’re not part of norbury or if you are brilliant with with the church, with each other, with your family with your friends
reach out, reaching out to anybody is a good thing, isn’t it? Yeah, I really just to begin that conversation because sometimes that just the start of the conversation just saying, I don’t feel okay is a good way to begin a massive step forward and you might be in a great place you might be in an absolutely wonderful ways and life might feel brilliant. And that’s fine as well but to remove that stigma to remove that stigma of even if you are in a good place, so there’ll be others who are struggling so it’s being willing to approach them and have a conversation with them as well. It is really important isn’t
it? Yeah, definitely. And go into these websites you could you can get help for yourself. But places like mine will actually give you information of how you could reach out and help others
as well. Yeah, we want to normalise the conversation that’s that’s what we want to do. I think as your you’re gonna leave us, we began Didn’t we with Jesus peace, john reading but I think you’ve got another reading.
I have. I’ve got john, Chapter 14, verse 27. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled. And do not be afraid.
Peace I leave with you. God’s peace can overcome any tribulation in the world. God’s peace is far deeper than any of the struggles we face. God overcame death. So that we could have eternal life was live in that peace and close journey together in that peace and oneness. Remove stigma of struggle of hardship, unless encourage one another to walk and to practice peace. Thank you for joining us for this mini episode of journeying faithfully. If you’d like to catch up on our series, or listen to any of our episodes, please do check out our website journeying safely.com or our anchor site or look for our podcasts on any of your streaming devices however you stream. I’m Josh and I’m Ashleigh and thank you for joining us in the conversation today.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai