Every month it seems has its many assigned observances and related activities. May’s most recognized is perhaps breast cancer awareness which has a huge walk/ fundraiser and free mammograms for those who need it. Men’s health awareness has few shaving in November, etc. While this is great in highlighting and adding awareness and education to
many very important topics, it happens so much we may have quit paying attention to the designated issue unless it has impacted us or is culturally and socially a big event.
There is a May observance I do not want us to miss because the number of peopIe experiencing it has gone from 1 in 4 to 1 in 3 (25% increased 33%). It is the plague of our time.
May is Mental Health month. You have heard from me very personal stories of loved ones who struggle, or friends with heartaches from unaddressed mental illness. Again this school year, all or most of our kids know another kid who died by suicide. They all have friends or are themselves struggling with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addictions or other mental health concerns. This is not mentioning the adults in their lives struggling with the same issues. IF we believe we are indeed people who are a balance of MIND-BODY-SPIRIT, then we can only see this as part of our own wellness and health. Most of the time there is not a blood test or an X-ray with which we can confirm a mental health related diagnosis, yet this is no different than the many well accepted diseases that can not be diagnosed with blood analysis or X-ray, such as MS, Parkinson’s, etc. Once you are convinced it is a very real problem, the question is what do we do about it
Mental Health Connect is a free service that began at Bethlehem Lutheran in Minneapolis in the past couple years. Several churches are partnering with Bethlehem in this ministry. Here’s what is unique and great about Mental Health Connect:
1) They have “Navigators” who help you figure out how to enter the health care system and get the help you need.
2) They help you understand and access your medical insurance for coverage (if it is in your plan, and if not they help you figure that out too). 3) They help you with figure out the other life struggles that do not take a break just because you are not feeling well, i.e. where to live, how to pay rent or groceries.
4) They offer monthly education events with dinner so you can choose to be in community with others who are struggling too.
Their website is mhconnect.org. Check it out their website as there are lots of resources and information to find there too.
On Sunday, May 7th, our mission moment will be provided by a staff member of Mental Health Connect to help us learn more about their services.
Help Us Stop the Stigma!!