Make a difference

(This week’s is an exchange of blogs between the Moderators of General Assembly and the Moderator of the Youth Assembly)


The week just gone was Mental Health Awareness Week. You may have seen recently that a new resource from members of URC Youth has been published. URC Youth, as an organisation, has made a firm commitment to tackling the stigma surrounding mental ill health.

URC Youth has also challenged and encouraged the entire denomination to keep issues of mental health in mind when it carries out its work.

The new resource is available on the URC Youth website and Children’s and Youth Work Resources page of the URC website. It’s called Get Talking and aims to do just that with your local church or group around the topic of mental wellbeing. But to get talking about mental health, the stigma surrounding mental ill health needs to addressed positively and constructively.

There is stigma attached to many topics in today’s society, but none more so than mental health in my view. One of the fundamental issues surrounding mental ill health is not necessarily the illness(es) themselves, but the stigma surrounding them.

You may be wondering why I’ve flagged Mental Health Awareness Week after it has been and gone. It may well be over but issues surrounding mental wellbeing stays with us every day regardless. The discussion about mental health does not stop when Mental Health Awareness Week stops but continues on and should not be forgotten as a Church.

Recognising that mental ill health can have just as much an effect as physical begins to overcome the stigma and encourages helpful, positive discussion, enabling us to be faithful witnesses of Christs love.
When addressing the big topics in our churches and our society today, our personal view needs to be one without stigma. We need to be open to the needs of others around us, to have a willingness to be together, “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (Mark 3:25, NIV). We stand together as a United and Reformed Church, called by God to be challenged and make a difference.

Sandy Nunn
Moderator of Youth Assembly

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