World Mental Health Day is observed annually on October 10. This year, the Church has sought to celebrate this day as an opportunity to encourage a truly pastoral view that embraces our total community as the living Body of Christ.
To be authentic, this view must include every member of the community acknowledging their call, their gift and their presence. We cannot claim to be truly disciples of Jesus unless we are totally engaged in honouring His presence in each one and in building and nurturing this community to be a living witness of that presence. Clearly this is a revealed truth that is fundamental to our sense of our own real value. Just as clearly this truth should be so evident in our lived experience that others are drawn to know, understand and experience the Father’s love that Jesus reveals.
People living with mental health challenges, are no less members of the Body of Christ than anyone else. Obviously there are particular challenges to enabling their full participation in the life of the community. Some of these challenges are visible and many others not so clearly identified. Once we acknowledge these challenges we can work together to ensure that all the gifts that flow through the Body of Christ can be shared by each member of that Body. It is also a reminder to look after our own well-being, especially our spiritual well-being. How are we nourishing our well-being through our spiritualty?
The Australian Catholic Disability Council has developed a poster and prayer card to promote World Mental Health Day in your faith communities. You may wish to use the material to celebrate World Mental Health Week.
These resources can be accessed here.
Thank you again for your past willingness to engage in this practical pastoral expression of genuine love for Jesus as seen in every member of His disciples.
Yours sincerely in Jesus,
+ Terrence Brady
Bishops’ Delegate for Disability Issues Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
With thanks to the ACBC.