CA & Mental Health
14-20 May week is World Mental Health Awareness Week; an opportunity to normalise conversations around mental health and providing recognition to those affected. As Church Army we engage with issues of mental health every day. We do this not just to reach out to the countless individuals struggling with mental health issues, but because love and hope is at the forefront of our caring and compassionate faith. Everyday our Evangelists, Centres of Mission and Key Projects are working to help individuals and
groups with a whole range of mental health struggles, to show love and bring the hope of the gospel to their lives.
In Gloucester, Emma Wilson is leading a café which is bringing something of the Kingdom of God to the area. The café enables anyone in the community who is lonely, feeling isolated, without anyone to talk to, or struggling with life, to come, eat, and do some life together. The café is run as a Community Interest Company (CIC); a unique limited company that enables mission-driven entrepreneurs to benefit the community!
🙏Pray for Gloucester
“Lord God, enable us to help others to encounter you, and to know that they are not alone, and that there is an ear to listen, a welcome at a table, and worth in their presence, as we journey together with you in community with each other. Amen.”
Amy Hayes is our Pioneer Evangelist in Selby. She is running GAB, which stands for God and Biscuits; an all-female group that meets every week and is engaging with mental health issues on many levels.
“Every Wednesday morning at 9.30, women descend on my house for pancakes, biscuits and tea and coffee. We sit round, eat and catch up. The group provides a
safe space for members to be accepted and to share their stories without fear of judgement. During the weekly meetings, the members engage in meaningful
conversations and play games such as ‘deep meaningful conversation cards.’ Prayer is a large part of GAB, with prayer often being held before any meeting.
One lady shared that, “It’s the time of the week everyone looks forward to. Being midweek, it helps you get through the week – it’s pretty special!”
Another lady told me how she wouldn’t change any part of her life, even her past struggles with addiction and homelessness, because it has made her who she is today.
The group shows incredible trust in each other. They even have a key to my house so that GAB can continue if I’m not around one week; it sounds crazy, but that is the
level of trust. GAB creates a unique atmosphere where people can come together to laugh and have fun while still having deep conversations about faith and life. The
positive impact on mental health through such a simple thing is profound.”
🙏Pray for Selby
Pray that the members of GAB would experience more and more of the Kingdom of God in their lives. Pray that Wednesday morning would continue to be a sacred space full of laughter, pancakes and God.
Kerry Dixon from our Dundee Centre of Mission is helping people suffering with
mental health problems in various ways including a men’s support group called
Pirate Monks. Gavin, who attends the group and mentors there too, told us how
important the Pirate Monks is for him.
“It has certainly helped me in my faith journey, and it helps me with my mental
health too. It has given me more confidence. We encourage meditative prayer
and being able to talk freely in the group breaks down barriers. We pray for each
other and we know that we are all equal and unique within the Pirate Monks.”
🙏Pray for Dundee
Pray for the men who attend Pirate Monks; that they may continue to feel the love of God. Pray that God would bring to us anyone who would benefit from the Pirate Monks.
Jack Wright is the Pioneer Evangelist at our Centre of Mission in Wrexham, where mental health issues are a prominent problem, particularly among young people.
Jack runs a young men’s hiking and mentoring group in the summer months.
They head out of the urban environment and into the countryside. It encourages
them to think about nothing but placing one foot in front of the other – leading to
improved mental clarity. Jack also offers one-to-one mentoring sessions for those
who need it, where he provides a safe and judgement-free space.
“Through these conversations, I see an improvement in overall demeanor, with
these young guys feeling more confident and looking optimistically towards the
future. Most of these young people are completely unchurched. They engage in
Centre of Mission projects, but they don’t have their own faith as such. But we
are making steps in that direction. We talk about what happens after death; it’s a
stepping stone towards a faith journey.”
🙏Pray for Wrexham
“Pray that the young people of Wrexham continue to engage and we continue to be able to meet their needs.”