Wednesday 10th October was World Mental Health Day. A reminder to focus on the importance of our own and others mental health. Looking back to my teenage years I can identify with depression. This lifted when I became a Christian and joined a church community. Following God’s call and training for full-time ministry also helped as I discovered confidence and self esteem. A few years ago low depression once again took hold. Unlike in my teens, the difference was that I was able to identify with the depression and importantly, talk and share with others.
Dozens of times every day we will ask the question ‘How are you?’ This has simply become a way to say ‘hello.’ Most of the time we expect a “I’m okay or fine’ response. What if we actually did want to know how the other person was?
I want to encourage you to look out for one another. Having someone in your corner can make all the difference. If someone you know is acting differently, really ask ‘How are you?’ The truth is we say we are fine when we are not. With 1 in 4 people experiencing a mental health issue, if a friend, work colleague, member of church says they are fine, the reality is they may not be. Mental health issues can affect any of us, and without people around us, in our corner, it can be a lonely and dark place.
So if we are worried about someone and they say the usual ‘I’m fine thanks’ to the usual ‘how are you?’ question, to show you are really interested in how they are really are, then #Ask Twice – ask again, ‘How are you really?’ That simple act can show that you are genuinely interested in their wellbeing. Putting yourself in someone’s else’s corner is as simple as committing to #Ask Twice.
There are resources on mental health including #Ask Twice on www.time-to-change.org.uk
#Ask Twice if you are worried about someone it can make the difference.
Check out the event at Manchester Cathedral:
YOUNG PEOPLE AND MENTAL HEALTH
IN A CHANGING WORLD
A service of words, silence and music, reflecting upon the pressures of everyday life that can affect us all, but particularly young adults, that can lead to depression, loneliness and suicide.
An opportunity to pray for those whom we love.
The service will be followed with refreshments and time to talk.
Saturday 20 October
2—4pm (service from 2.30—3.15pm)