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Sadly, I recently took the funeral of a friend who died following a 20 year battle with an illness. The illness was a mental health one, an addiction. Taking funerals is genuinely a part of my role that I love, as I have the remarkable privilege of being alongside families at such painful times, and of hearing the ups and downs of someone’s life story. Quite often, in relation to physical illnesses, we say things like, ‘he battled cancer for ….. years’ or, ‘sadly she lost her battle with …..’. However, when it comes to battling mental illness, we struggle to find the words, being still a taboo subject for many.

Did you know that 1 in 4 of us will have a mental health condition at some point in our lives?  Mental health issues are very common, very normal. Yet most of us - myself included - find it awkward, at best, to talk to and support those with such illnesses.

During Lent, the Church At Perton is focusing on mental health awareness. We’re facilitating a 6-week course, “Lifting the Lid”, exploring faith and mental health. We’re running it twice, and all are welcome, on: Tuesdays, 7.30pm from 12th March - 16th April; Wednesdays, 10.30am from 13th March - 17th April. We’ll also focus on mental health awareness at our 10am Sunday Services. We’re seeking to increase our understanding, become better at talking about mental health, and learn how best to support people in our families, church, and village, who are battling not physical, but mental, illnesses. Let’s ‘Lift the Lid’ on Mental Health together!

Rev'd Julia

March 2019

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