Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Let's Talk and Let's Keep Talking
This is the Let's Talk day sponsored by Bell with former Olympic champion Clara Hughes as one of the spokespersons. The goal is to raise money for mental health support in Canada and while it is a relatively new program it has a high profile and has been quite successful. http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/
I laud this initiative because there are so many situations in pastoral ministry related to mental health. It is troubling to me that so many young people struggle with everything from depression to schizophrenia to bipolar illness, yet they and their families have difficulty accessing support and end up feeling even more desparate and alone. Often those of us in ministry feel a combination of helplessness and anger at the lack of available resources. And there is still a stigma attached to mental illness. Often people aren't sure who they can trust, even within their faith families. So they don't talk.
There are also the broader societal issues such as incarcerating mentally ill young people as criminals, with tragic consequences. As the Ashley Smith inquiry continues, we have been made aware of similar situations in other prisons and jails. The mentally ill need to be treated, not imprisoned.
Will you do your part to support the Let's Talk program? Has mental illness affected you or those you love? Let's talk and let's keep talking.
Take a gander at my latest Groundling blog entry.