Mental Health Week
An encouragement to make changes in our lives.
As a former secondary school teacher, I saw mental health issues among teenagers increase as the years went by. We do not need to follow the news for long without hearing that this current period of lockdown and covid-19 is having a significant impact on the mental health of teenagers and adults. Indeed, younger children are also showing signs of anxiety which is affecting their lives and possibly affecting their learning and sense of self-worth.
I am writing this to tell you about a charity that we are linked to as a church. It is called Kintsugi Hope and was set up by Diane and Patrick Regan MBE. For more information visit the Kintsugi Hope website. Kintsugi Hope has developed wellbeing groups which help those involved to work towards their vision of a world where physical and mental health is understood and accepted, with safe and supportive communities for everyone to flourish. A group of us from St Saviour’s have been trained to run the wellbeing groups and are in the process of planning for a pilot to be run online at some point soon.
Kintsugi is the Japanese method of repairing pottery with a seam of gold. This repairs the brokenness in a way that makes the object more beautiful, and even more unique than it was prior to being broken. Instead of hiding the scars, it makes a feature of them. This is a picture of us being healed by God and becoming more beautiful as we become the people that God has made us to be.
Two versions of the course have been developed. One for adults (12 sessions) and one for youth (6 sessions). Both versions look at different topics like Forgiveness, Shame, and Anger. It is not designed for only those who have been diagnosed with mental health conditions or are receiving medical treatment but is for those of us who have been scarred and damaged simply by living in a broken world or would like to work on improving their mental health.
Fortunately the church in its widest sense has started to face up to mental health issues over the last few years and there are several charities and organisations who work together in their different styles to help facilitate the opportunity for our wounds and scrapes to be healed and made beautiful. We can all benefit from having tools which help us to move forwards into wholeness and give us courage to reveal our broken places and allow healing to begin.
By Gillian Harrap