“Mental Health” is something we’re all talking about a lot these days. Rather than define it here, as if there’s one definition, let’s talk about how good it is to move past the taboos and stigmas and be able to talk openly about what’s going on that weighs heavy on our souls, that keeps us up at night, that spreads pain and ugly thoughts inside us that no one else can see. When we talk, when we share, we discover that we are more than what hurts us. We discover that we need not live through this alone. Others may have an intimate understanding of what we thought was “only us.” Others may be going through, or have gone through, something quite similar. Or different. When we share, when we talk, when we listen, we create a circle of care for a larger “us” to grow and heal together.
NC Council of Churches Partners for Health & Wholeness offers this Mental Health Advocacy page that we’ve found helpful, and maybe you will, too!
These past few months, our UNCG Public Health interns helped open up communal spaces where we could share our grief and explore how grief and loss impact our physical, mental, spiritual, and social health. Thank you, Hina and Jordi!
Telling the stories of our losses, the deaths and separations from loved ones, the income dives and health crises that have forced us to re-evaluate everything, has brought up pain these past few months. And joys remembered. And desire – for closeness, for friendships to soothe the hurts, and above all for integration and acceptance of these losses so that we can move together as a community through the weeks and months to come with a sense of tenderness, care, and collective purpose.
Becoming a Trauma-Informed Faith Community is another resource we’ve found helpful as we grow together toward healing and supporting others in their healing. We just can’t do this alone, or once for all, friends! It’s a way of love, and life, and care, that we hope is how we do what we do, and be who we are becoming, as a community beloved by God and healed by Christ’s Spirit.