Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

Monday 9 – Sunday 15 May 2022

About Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual event when there is an opportunity for the whole of the UK to focus on achieving good mental health. The Mental Health Foundation started the event 21 years ago. Each year the Foundation continues to set the theme, organise and host the week. The event has grown to become one of the biggest awareness weeks across the UK and globally.

Church Army’s Impact

Channing’s Story

“I’ve been self-harming since I was 12. I have 10 hours of therapy a week, but Amber is by far the best self-harm support group I go to. The drama workshops are a lot of fun, we play games and have a good laugh together. We also explore serious issues through role-playing and acting. It’s a really good mix.

You can talk to the staff here about anything, they’re so supportive. You can tell they genuinely care about us. With the other young people, we’re not just in a group together – we’re friends. They’re going through the same things as I am, so I can be myself around them.

It’s good to get out and go to The Amber Project, rather than just lying in bed feeling depressed. It gives me something to look forward to. I know I can come here feeling rubbish and by the end of it I’ll be OK. The Amber Project is the one thing that always makes me feel better.”

The Amber Project is our Cardiff-based project for young people with experience of self-harm. We hear from some of the young people about their experiences of The Amber Project and how they’re getting on.

Read more here.

Donate to bring hope to more young people at the Amber Project

Donate here

Tia’s Story

Below is a poem, entitled Dear Mental Health Illness, written by Tia* who lives in Norris Green in Liverpool, one of the most deprived areas of the UK. Tia sees Cherith every week to explore the Bible and look at how she is managing her mental health. Supported by Cherith, Tia wrote the poem below in celebration of 10 weeks without self-harming.

*Name changed to maintain anonymity.

Click here to read Tia’s Poem

Dear Mental Health Illness

I’m really hating you!

I hate the way you make me feel

And the things that you do!

I can never escape you

You’re everywhere I turn

You’ve become a blazing fire

Everythign you turn you burn!

You always take for your greed

Everything I like you destroy

You twist what should be nomrla

You kill what I enjoy

Dear Mental Health Illness

You rip my life apart

You demolish who I am

You’re a blade through the heart!

In so many ways

You distort the truth

You play games with my mind

You make me hit the roof.

The world all around me

Seems so unreal, so untrue.

No one sees what I see

And this is all because of you!

Dear Mental Health Illness

My life doesn’t feel like mine

You’ve taken it for your own

Bit by bit, time after time.

You make it hard to think straight

It’s hard to know what’s real

It’s hard to see a future

Where I understand how I feel.

A Life with you is suffercating

You take so much control

My life is trapped inside of you

My freedom you have stole!

Dear Mental Health Illness

I wish you would go away

I wish your torture would come to and end

I wish you wouldn’t stay

I’m always in a battle with you

I’m fighting for my life

Never can I turn my back

For you are holding a knife!

I’m strong enough to face you

I will hold my head up high!

I will win this fight you started

You will be the one to die.

Dear Mental Health Illness

Watch out, I am stronger!

I’m tougher than you think I am

It just might take me longer

To defeat you will take time

There is no easy quick fix

I know I will have to face a lot

But I will bare the punches and kicks!

I will show you that I can beat you

I will wear my scars with pride!

Never again will you make me hurt

I will forget the tears I cried!

Dear Mental Health Illness

This battle is not yet done!

I will stand my ground

Until the day I have won!

Donate to bring hope to more people like tia

Donate Here

Peter’s Story

Peter is a widower who lives alone but loves to have lots of social contact. He has had struggles with his mental health in the past and would be vulnerable to depression. When lockdown started in March it was a real struggle.

After a few weeks of lockdown Karen and Stephen(Evangelists at our North Belfast Centre of Mission) were able to open the centre so Peter started to call in each day and has been down virtually every day since and has said on numerous occasions that he doesn’t think he would have survived without having his visits to look forward to. He says it’s the highlight of his day!

Donate to bring hope to more people like peter

Donate Here

George’s Story

Stephen (CA Staff Member) was at our community garden unloading flag stones for the soon to be built shelter. George, a guy from the estate who Stephen had got to know over the last few months, came down for a chat. He had been struggling with lockdown isolation and shared how he was seriously considering suicide and had the rope ready in his garage.

George wasn’t emotional or dramatic at all just very matter of fact about it, two of his nephews died by suicide a few years ago and it is tragic just how normal a thing it can seem for people in this area.

After chatting, Stephen was able to pray for him and he brightened and said he felt a peace and a warmth as they prayed.

Donate to bring hope to more people like George

Donate here

Marching for Mental Health

The first part of Church Army’s vision is for “everyone everywhere to encounter God’s love”. One of the ways we can be bold within such a big vision is through the freedom our evangelists have to follow God’s call on their life to be the gospel in their own contexts.

One of those evangelists is Valerie Thom, who heads up the Zacchaeus Outreach Project (ZOP) in the Diocese of Armagh in Northern Ireland. The project was set up in 2011 with a vision to show God’s love to marching bands. The marching band sub-culture is one that is misunderstood and as a community, finds itself marginalised and on the fringes, even by churches. Valerie was a band member herself for many years and now serves bands in practical ways, supported by a group of faithful volunteers in efforts to bring together church groups and band members, building a real sense of community in the rural parts of Northern Ireland.

The Zacchaeus Outreach Project is able to be present at parades through the use of their bus serving tea, coffee and providing opportunities to talk, pray and make links with well-being services. Read more here.

Donate to bring hope

Donate here

Living Well in Langley

In November last year, during England’s second coronavirus lockdown, Church Army launched the Langley Centre of Mission; partnering with the Diocese of Birmingham to bring hope to the streets in one of the West Midland’s most industrial areas.

Lead Evangelist Val Legg has moved to Langley and has been joined by Simeon Jarvis, the centre’s new Pioneer Evangelist. Simeon grew up in Langley and is currently looking for a house in the area. Returning to where he grew up will be the fulfilment of a word from God for him to return to his roots.

“I know the area really well and from prayer walking recently, Val and me are getting a sense that there is a big problem with unemployment and mental health in Langley. For unemployment, I want to create a place that could be used to help people into work, and also come alongside them with the Gospel. And with mental health; it’s an issue everywhere at the moment, with loneliness and depression throughout COVID-19 but particularly in Langley, it has been a problem for a long time.”

Read more here.

Donate to bring hope in Langley

Donate here

Take Action to Improve Mental Health across the UK and Ireland

If you are a financial supporter of Church Army, then you are the changing lives of people like Channing, Tia Peter and George.

If you’ve never donated to Church Army, would you consider donating to help individuals experiencing Mental Health crises?