This is Mental Health Awareness Week! URC Youth have made a firm commitment to tackling the stigma surrounding mental ill health and have challenged and encouraged the entire denomination to keep that topic in mind when it carries out it’s work.
Mental ill health can often be swept under the carpet, avoided because of the thin ice that many feel they are treading on when the topic crops up. Several years back, the URC Youth Assembly recognised that mental ill health should be taken more seriously and that something needed to be done to encourage healthy conversation and discussion. The stigmatism when discussing mental health isn’t healthy and needs to be overcome, which is no small feat! For example; just mentioning the words mental health can conjure up the image of those with depression or anxiety. It’s not just those with depression or anxiety who have mental health, those are just examples of mental ill health. We all have mental health in the same way we all have physical health and some of us suffer with ill health, which can affect our physical or mental health.
To begin to tackle that stigma it’s good to engage with mental health in a relevant, constructive way that is sensitive and honest. Youth Assembly 2016, as part of its work in this area, offers a new resource; Get Talking. This resource, produced by members of URC Youth, aims to live up to its name and get people talking about mental health. It’s been created for use in a church context as well as beyond the Church, to raise awareness of mental ill health.
I’ll let the resource speak for itself:
In recognition of the fact that this is by no means an easy task, the URC Youth Executive
agreed to produce this resource for the benefit of all who wish to use it; those within and
outside the Church, inclusive of all age groups. Our goal is to help groups of people to
reflect and discuss the concept of mental wellbeing, to learn to care for our own mental
well-being and to consider how we can help others who may suffer from mental ill-health, as well as those close to them.
(Taken from the introduction.)
Mental Health Awareness Week is a great time to bring up the subject of mental health, but it doesn’t stop at the end of the week! This is a great opportunity for you to highlight mental health and create an ongoing conversation with the groups and places you’re active in. We hope Get Talking can provide the opportunity to invite all to come together and get talking about mental health!
Get Talking gives your local group a way to discuss mental wellbeing in a constructive way, providing a framework for group sessions, both interactive/practical and discussion based. It’s now available on the URC Youth website and Children’s and Youth Work page on the URC website to download and get your church or youth group talking about mental wellbeing! Click here to have a look at it!
Planning on using it? Let us know in the comments how you used it!