Why We Need to Talk About Mental Health in the Bible this #TimetoTalkDay
Today is has been designated #TimetoTalk day. It’s a day to encourage open and honest conversations about mental health — something we’re passionate about at Kintsugi Hope, because creating safe and supportive spaces means having those honest conversations.
And over the past few years we have got better at talking about mental health and acknowledging its importance — but I think there’s a big gap in our conversations.
How often do we talk about mental health in the Bible, what it has to say to us about positive mental health, but also how it can speak to us when we’re struggling?
The answer is; probably not often — and that is why ‘naming our position’ on mental health is one of the priorities which emerged from our research into attitudes towards mental health in the UK church.
It’s hard to name our position on mental health as the church if we don’t know what the Bible, the most important text we have to navigate life and faith, has to say about it.
With this in mind, we’ve been working away at a paper developing a theology of mental health, a way at looking at what scripture has to say about how we were created to flourish mentally, how we can bring our mental struggles before God and what the hope is for our mental health.
We’ve used the language of home to explore these huge concepts, because although we are aware it often isn’t, at it’s best home should be the safest and most supportive place in our lives and Eden was humanity’s first home.
We hope that by beginning to have a theological language of mental health, we can speak more openly and honesty about mental health within our churches so that they can be safe and supportive spaces for people to explore their mental and emotional health.
Our churches were once at the forefront of caring for those struggling with their mental health — it’s why the oldest mental health hospital in the world, The Bethlehem Royal, is named after the birthplace of Christ.
And we believe that the church still has a significant role to play in mental health — not replacing psychiatric or medical care — but by providing people with a safe place, a sanctuary — and we hope that this short theology paper will help start these conversations.
So download it, read it, digest it — and if you want to know more — book onto one of our regional Mental Health Friendly Church Training Days where explore it in more depth!
Written by Rachael Newham — you can find her on Instagram @RachaelNewham90