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Daily Devotionals

Day 11 – Issue 16

todayMay 1, 2015 3

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Be Still Know

Psalm 23:2-3a NLT

‘He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength.’

A lot of news stories have focused recently on the lack of adequate provision in the UK for those with poor mental health. For many an invisible condition, successfully ignored for years, is slowly gaining recognition. Yet it remains stigmatised and a source of social exclusion. Many suffering with mental health issues refuse to report it, with only 25% receiving any treatment while making up 41% of sickness benefit claimants. The real cost to the UK inclusive of benefits, treatment, lost work and premature death is between £70-100bn per annum, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Acceptance for who we are is essential for each of us to flourish, something God readily gives. None of us knows how life will impact us. Many will wake up one day to realise they are facing mental health issues. That’s when we need our friends to draw close, not step away. As Katey and I navigated our way through MS, we felt abandoned by those who knew us best. The once-packed prayer meeting in our house dwindled, then entirely disappeared. With Katey in her nursing home for the last eighteen months of her life, her pastor only managed to visit once.

I discovered my mood and reactions were subject to strong criticism to my face and also behind my back. On reflection I have learned I was having problems with my mental health, but I quickly became isolated, and once marginalised I chose to stay there, as it was easier. As a church committed to mission, we must offer an open door for the mentally ill to enter through.

QUESTION: How is your mental health? Talking is a healthy starting point, even if you get angry and overemotional as you talk. Is your church identifying and encouraging those with experience of managing mental health issues and health professionals working in this field?

NOVENA PRAYER: Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I offer to you my own mental health. You invite me to be honest with myself and with you. Give me the courage to talk with someone, rescue me from the depths of my own despair. I pray too that the Church will itself offer an open door and invitation for those locked beneath the stigma and within the silence of this issue to enter and find friendship and support. 

Written by: Matt Weet

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